Timol murder: Outstanding SCA judgment puts ex-apartheid cop Joao Roderigues' trial on hold

2019-12-12 18:36
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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Former apartheid cop Joao Roderigues is still awaiting a judgment from the Supreme Court of Appeal for his alleged involvement in the murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol, the Gauteng High Court, sitting in the Palm Ridge Magistrate's Court, heard on Thursday. 

The former cop has petitioned for a stay of prosecution for his alleged role in the murder.

In September, Judge Ramarumo Monama set a provisional trial date for December 12 pending the 80-year-old's petition to the SCA. That was, however, not met on Thursday. 

Although the pending outcome had delayed the case, Judge Monama said Roderigues was entitled to approach the SCA. 

The case has been set for February 28, 2020. 

In May, Timol's nephew, Imtiaz Cajee, submitted an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act to the Department of Justice and Correctional Services requesting the financial costs spent by the State on the case. 

On Wednesday, Cajee said the application revealed R3 585 305.92 had been spent by the State to cover the inquest, postponements and stays of prosecution.

He added the department had "refused" to provide a breakdown of the costs paid, stating it would encroach on Roderigues' privacy.

"The attorney for Roderigues, Mr Ben Minnaar, refused to consent to such a disclosure. Mr Minnaar previously worked in the state attorney's office and resigned once Roderigues was charged," Cajee said. 

Judge Monama also sited concerns in the delays, stating it would bore costs. 

If Roderigues' petition to the SCA failed, the trial would go ahead, he said. 

Timol was killed while in police detention in 1971 at the notorious John Vorster Square police station, now called the Johannesburg Central police station.

Read more on:    joao roderigues  |  ahmed timol  |  crime  |  courts
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