Ex-apartheid cop accused of involvement in Timol murder back in court

2018-10-15 08:30
Former security branch police sergeant Joao Jan Rodrigues ahead of a court appearance. (Supplied: Oryx)

Former security branch police sergeant Joao Jan Rodrigues ahead of a court appearance. (Supplied: Oryx)

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The former security branch police sergeant accused of being involved in the murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol is expected to appear for a pre-trial conference in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Monday.

Pre-trial conference proceedings in Joao Jan Rodrigues' case were supposed to get under way in September, but were postponed after the defence requested more time to read through submitted documentation.

ALSO READ: Reopening of Timol matter not 'about inciting racial tension' - family

Judge Ramarumo Monama postponed the case, saying it was paramount that pre-trial proceedings be dealt with so that the trial could finally kick off.

"If the matter is 47 years old, it needs to be attended to as quickly as possible," Monama said.

He added that the court was only interested in pre-trial conference proceedings at this stage.

'Died as a result of having been pushed’

Monama also warned prosecutors to supply the defence with all the documents they needed during the postponement period.

Rodrigues' advocate, Jaap Cilliers, SC, previously told the court he intended to file an application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

"The alleged murder took place approximately 47 years ago, so we consider and [will] probably bring an application for a stay in proceedings. And that would have to be formulated in a proper substantive application and would take time to prepare," he said.

ALSO READ: Former security branch officer seeks stay of prosecution for Timol murder

The North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria found last year that Timol died at the hands of the apartheid security branch police while in detention.

The court found that Timol did not meet his death as a result of suicide, but that he "died as a result of having been pushed to fall, an act which was committed by members of the security branch with dolus eventualis as a form of intent, and prima facie amounting to murder".

Rodrigues is out on bail.

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Read more on:    ahmed timol  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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