South Africa: Apartheid Criminals Must Be Prosecuted, Court Hears in Ahmed Timol Case

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The family of slain anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol and the NPA want the prosecution of murder accused Joao Rodrigues to continue as the former security branch officer is in court to have the charges dropped.

The South Gauteng High Court heard arguments on Thursday and Friday from various parties with a vested interest in former apartheid cop Joao Rodrigues's request for a permanent stay of prosecution for the 1971 murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol.

Rodrigues was charged with murder in July 2018 after an inquest found Timol was thrown to his death from the 10th floor of Johannesburg Central Police Station.

Rodrigues's defence, led by Advocate Jaap Cilliers, argued that because of the period of time that has lapsed it would be unconstitutional for the state to proceed with prosecuting him.

Cilliers put it to the full bench, including Judges Seun Dimpheletse Moshidi, Jody Kollapen and Ingrid Opperman, and a packed court room that "this case is unique because of the enormous timeline" and that Rodrigues "did not try to evade justice", instead he was just never charged by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Cilliers submitted to the court that there had been "a deliberate decision by the prosecuting...

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