Timol family allowed to intervene in Rodrigues stay of prosecution bid

2018-12-19 14:18
Former security branch police sergeant Joao Jan Rodrigues is seen during his appearance at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court in relation to the murder of slain activist Ahmed Timol. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

Former security branch police sergeant Joao Jan Rodrigues is seen during his appearance at the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court in relation to the murder of slain activist Ahmed Timol. (Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images, Netwerk24, file)

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The application of Ahmed Timol's family to intervene in former apartheid cop Joao "Jan" Rodrigues' bid for a permanent stay of prosecution has been granted in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg. 

The Timol family brought the application alongside the Haffejee family on Wednesday in an attempt to be admitted as intervening parties in Rodrigues' application for a permanent stay of prosecution in the murder trial of the anti-apartheid activist. The Haffejee family had sought to intervene based on information that activist Hoosen Haffejee died in similar circumstances as Timol. 

"It is not the fault of the victim's family that the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) failed to prosecute him in 2002, we are strongly opposing this," said Imtiaz Cajee, Timol's nephew, at the High Court.

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

While permission was granted to the Timol family, it was denied for the Haffejee family.

Judge Ramarumo Monama heard the submissions by the Timol family but expressed concern in the submission by the Haffejee family as there was no finding that the accused (Rodrigues) had a hand in Haffejee's murder. 

"The responsibility remains solely with the NDPP (National Director of Public Prosecutions). We must avoid having a lynch mob; it is not necessary to call each and everybody we are dealing with.

Timol family accepts ruling

"The Timol inquest finding states that the accused has had a hand in the murder of Timol, not the Haffejee family," Judge Monama explained. 

Also read: State to reopen inquest into death of anti-apartheid activist, Dr Hoosen Haffejee

Monama said the application should be based on "facts not generalities and speculation".

The Timol family said it accepted the ruling.

"One can understand the ruling by Judge Monama. In the Timol matter there has been a real finding but in the cases of many others those crimes have no finding. Humbly, we accept his ruling," Cajee told the media outside the court.

Former security branch officer Rodrigues will approach the High Court in a bid to get the NPA to drop charges against him for Timol's murder.

The reasons cited behind this main application are that the 79-year-old believes the prosecution is unfair as the NPA took too long to charge him. He also cites his ill health and failing memory.

In 2017, Judge Billy Mothle, who led an inquest into Timol's death, found that the activist had been murdered and recommended that the NPA probe Rodrigues' role in the death.

The matter will return to court on January 28, 2019.

Read more on:    ahmed timol  |  johannesburg  |  apartheid  |  crime  |  courts
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