Prosecutors urged to act in apartheid-era death of Ahmed Timol

2018-01-18 18:42
Ahmed Timol. (Netwerk24)

Ahmed Timol. (Netwerk24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg — The family of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol, who was tortured and killed by police in 1971, is pushing state prosecutors to act against three former police officers linked to the murder.

Timol's family said on Thursday that it does not want vengeance and would back plea bargains by the men, who are in their 80s, as long as they tell the truth about a case that was ruled a suicide at the time.

A judge last year overturned that ruling and found that Timol, a member of the South African Communist Party, was murdered after his arrest and transfer to a Johannesburg police station where opponents of white minority rule were often held. The judge said one former officer should be prosecuted for allegedly being an accessory to murder, while all three men should be investigated for alleged perjury.

READ: Timol judgment brings closure to family

Legal experts say the case could set a precedent for investigating similar deaths.

Other apartheid-era police officers implicated in Timol's death have died over the years. Timol is believed to have been pushed from the building and did not jump as authorities concluded soon after his death.

"As a family, we have run a long, painful and exhausting race to see justice done," Timol's nephew, Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee, said in a statement.

However, he warned that "prosecutorial delays would totally undermine" a process seen as a long-overdue effort to hold apartheid-era enforcers to account for their crimes.

The surviving officers "are not young men, and time is therefore of the essence," Cajee said.

"The truth will not only provide closure for the Timol family, and the policemen themselves, but also materially assist other families seeking to put the record straight about the deaths of loved ones at the hands of apartheid police."

The three remaining former police officers implicated in Timol's murder had not applied for amnesty before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The National Prosecuting Authority said after the 2017 inquest that they could be prosecuted.

Read more on:    hawks  |  ahmed timol

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Data Analyst

Cape Town
Tumaini Consulting
R540 000.00 - R800 000.00 Per Year

Imports Controller

Cape Town
Professional Career Services
R10 000.00 - R12 000.00 Per Month


Cape Town
Mass Staffing Projects
R400 000.00 - R600 000.00 Per Year

Property [change area]

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.