12 October 2017

South Africa: Timol Inquest - He Was Murdered but Culprits Are Dead, Court Rules

analysis

Anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol was murdered, ruled the Pretoria High Court in a unique inquest on Thursday, overturning a 1972 ruling that he committed suicide while in detention in 1971. The Security Branch officers who could face charges for pushing him from the police's John Vorster Square, however, have died. By GREG NICOLSON.

A packed courtroom clapped after Judge Billy Mothle ruled that in 1971 the SACP's Timol was pushed by members of the Security Branch out of a window in John Vorster's 10th floor or off its roof, leading to his death. He said there was a prima facie case of murder against the two policemen, who had in the past committed brutalities on detainees, who interrogated Timol on the day he was pushed to his death.

Judge Mothle said there was a prima facie dolus eventualis case of murder against Security Branch members Johannes van Niekerk and Captain Johannes Gloy, who, along with other officers, tortured Timol before his death and then pushed him to his death. They showed a recklessness in brutalising him without respect for his human dignity and while there was insufficient evidence to link them to direct intentions to commit murder, they should still...

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