South Africa: Security Branch Member Casts Doubt On Aggett's 'Suicide'

analysis

As the reopened Neil Aggett inquest entered its second week, a former Security Branch officer has questioned the police version about how Aggett allegedly committed suicide while detained in 1982.

Former Security Branch officer Joe Nyampule has cast doubt on the plausibility of the police version of how medical doctor and trade unionist Neil Aggett died while detained in Johannesburg Central Police Station, formerly John Vorster Square.

Aggett was found hanged in his cell by a kikoi on 5 February 1982 after 70 days in detention. An inquest in the same year exonerated his interrogators in the Security Branch, finding he committed suicide and there was no one to blame.

Nyampule started testifying on Friday, 24 January 2020 and continued in the second week of the reopened Aggett inquest on 27 January. At the time of Aggett's death, Nyampule was responsible for taking detainees between cells on the second floor of one part of the police station to the Security Branch offices on the 10th floor in another part of the station.

Aggett's family is arguing that the police either staged his suicide or that his torture, which included assault and electrocution, was so brutal that it led him to...

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