Ahmed Timol inquest to inspect scene of his death

2017-06-27 05:07
Ahmed Timol. (Netwerk24)

Ahmed Timol. (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – The inquest into the death of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol is set to enter its second day at the High Court in Johannesburg on Tuesday, with the court going on an in loco inspection of the scene of Timol’s death at 14:00.

The Roodepoort man supposedly jumped from the 10th floor of the Johannesburg Central Police Station, previously known as John Vorster Square, a fact that the teacher’s family refused to accept. He died in 1972 while being interrogated in police custody and his death was ruled a suicide.

At the time, security police and a magistrate’s findings following an inquiry in the year of his death said that Timol was treated kindly by the police officers, that he was never assaulted or tortured, and that he had taken his own life.

The inquest into the death of the teacher was reopened by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) after the Timol family prompted them following the discovery of new evidence.

On Monday, the investigating officer – Ben Nel - took the stand, confirming that he had been approached by the family to investigate the case. Timol was the 22nd person to die in police custody, 45 years ago.

Family lawyer Howard Varney told the Johannesburg High Court on Monday that he planned on proving how the justice system had let Timol and his family down, as well as exposing the web of lies concocted by the police, and those in the legal fraternity, to endorse police brutality during apartheid.

Varney said that it was a pity that some of the police witnesses had passed on already, and therefore could not answer questions that are bound to come up with the reopening of the case.

Timol left South Africa in December 1966 to perform hajj in Saudi Arabia, before moving to London where his exiled friends, Mohammed Salim Essop – who testified on Monday - and Aziz Pahad, were. He returned to South Africa in 1970.

Human right's lawyer George Bizos – who was also present on Monday - is expected to give his testimony on Wednesday. 

The inquest is expected to take place again at the end of June, recommencing again between July 24 and August 4, and concluding with the final sessions on August 10 and 11.
Judge Billy Mothle will oversee the inquest.

Read more on:    ahmed timol  |  johannesburg

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