Ahmed Timol's death comes under the spotlight

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Johannesburg, 27 October 2015 - Its been exactly 44 years since teacher and anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol died in police custody - a death that authorities then insisted was a suicide. Now the inquest papers into his death are to be made public.

JOHANNESBURG - It‘s been exactly 44 years since teacher and anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol died in police custody - a death that authorities then insisted was a suicide.

Now the inquest papers into his death are to be made public.

Timol’s family said medical evidence showed that he was the victim of prolonged torture and beating.

They want the inquest into his death reopened, and its verdict overturned to one of murder.

The 29-year-old teacher was arrested on 22 October 1971, and died five days later.

The family said they never believed police claims that he had killed himself, and neither did the anti-apartheid activists who&39;d fought alongside him.

"The findings of the inquest magistrate was that he was a communist, he took his own life, the security police did not lay a finger on him and my mother, who gave testimony at the inquest that the security police came and told her: you will not see your son again…and the magistrate said she was an untruthful witness," said the activists brother, Mohamed Timol.

Timol’s family now wants that verdict overturned.

Advocate George Bizos, who represented them at the original inquest, said there was ample evidence to show that the police’s account of how Timol died was not true.

"Science, and particularly medical science, has shown them to be bloody liars."

An independent pathologist found that Timol’s bruising proved he had been repeatedly beaten in the days before his death – a finding that was ignored by the magistrate hearing his inquest.

Watch the full report in the video gallery above