Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
3 Jun 2019
10:55 am

Apartheid-era cop to stand trial after high court dismisses appeal

Citizen Reporter

The former apartheid security officer is accused of murdering apartheid activist Ahmed Timol.

Former apartheid police officer Joao Rodrigues. Image: Twitter/@SACP1921

The Gauteng High Court has dismissed apartheid cop Joao Rodrigues’ permanent stay of prosecution application.

A full bench at the High Court in Johannesburg handed down its judgment on Rodrigues’ application that he made late last year. Previous arguments were heard on March 28 and 29.

In 1971, Ahmed Timol plunged to his death from the 10th floor of the then John Vorster Square Police Station in Johannesburg, where he had been held because of his anti-apartheid activities.

The original inquest which was held in 1972 concluded that Timol committed suicide. Most of the evidence was centred around Rodrigues’s testimony.

Rodrigues claimed at the time that he saw Timol jump out of a window, but he couldn’t save him because he tripped over a chair.

However, the matter was revisited decades later.

In 2017, Judge Billy Mothle ruled that Timol did not commit suicide. This led to Rodrigues being charged with murder in July 2018.

A legal representative maintains it would be unfair to put Rodrigues on trial because the two policemen who left him with Timol were dead and therefore couldn’t testify.

(Compiled by Gopolang Chawane)

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