SOUTH AFRICAN anti-apartheid campaigner and communist Ahmed Timol was murdered by police, the High Court in Pretoria ruled yesterday — 46 years after his death.
Judge Billy Mothle said Mr Timol was assaulted and tortured from his arrest on October 22 1971 until he fell to his death from the notorious John Vorster Square police station on the 27th.
The apartheid regime claimed he took his own life by jumping from the narrow 10th-floor window of an interrogation room.
“Timol did not jump out of the window of room 1026 but was either pushed out of the window or from the roof,” the judge said. “Thus he did not commit suicide but was murdered.”
Judge Mothle said Jan Rodriguez, the last police officer to see Mr Timol alive, should be investigated as a murder suspect, an accessory and for perjury at the 1972 and 2017 inquests.
“Rodriguez on his own version participated in the cover-up to conceal the crime of murder as an accessory after the fact and went on to commit perjury by presenting contradictory evidence,” he said.
The reopening of the inquest earlier this year was a victory after years of campaigning by Mr Timol’s family and the foundation named for him.
At a press conference following the verdict, the foundation thanked the judge, adding: “The true circumstances of Ahmed Timol’s death have finally been ventilated, and the official record revised.”
South African Communist Party spokesman Alex Mashilo said: “Everyone who was killed by or disappeared at the behest of the apartheid regime must be accounted for.
“The forces behind the crime against humanity, apartheid, must be held accountable.”