Timol inquest: Family call on police to account


Johannesburg, 27 October 2015 - Anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol.

JOHANNESBURG - The Ahmed Timol Family Trust said it is time that police reveal what really happened to the anti-apartheid activist 46 years ago. 

A new inquest into Timol's death entered its third week in the Johannesburg High Court on Monday, with the cross examination of former members of the police.

The police claimed Timol committed suicide by jumping from a 10th-floor window at the John Vorster police station while being interrogated. 

Officers denied allegations of torture and maltreatment. 

Timol's family, as well as other witnesses who took the stand, insisted he was pushed from the office of the notorious security branch.

So far, testimony revealed gruesome details of what political prisoners were forced to endure during their detention.

Timol's death in 1971 was the first at the police station. 

WATCH: Did Timol jump or was he thrown?

Seven other activists died in police custody there, with police blaming the deaths on suicide.

Magistrate JL de Villiers, who conducted the original inquest, used words such as “honest and trustworthy” and “reliable” to describe the security policemen.

Testimony presented by a pathologist last week indicated Timol had been severely assaulted prior to falling from the building and that evidence indicated he may have been dropped from the roof. 

Sergeant Joao (Jan) Rodrigues (76), who was the only policeman in the room with Timol when he allegedly dived through the window, was subpoenaed to testify.

Another policeman, Warrant Officer Neville Els (80), who was peripherally involved with Timol’s detention, will give evidence about security police interrogation techniques.

"To date, no policemen have been held accountable for any of the 73 deaths in detention that occurred between 1963 and 1990," said the Ahmed Timol Family Trust


Paid Content