Joao Rodrigues has brought his prosecution for the murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol upon himself and it should go forward despite his old age, Timol’s nephew has stated in an affidavit before the South Gauteng High Court.
Rodrigues has applied to the court for a permanent stay of execution, based mainly on his age (79 years old) and that because Timol died in 1971, justice would not be served by prosecuting Rodrigues now.
“I oppose this application to permanently stay the prosecution of Rodrigues on behalf of myself, my family, victims of apartheid era crimes and in the public interest,” said Timol’s nephew, Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee. “This court has already confirmed that my family has a clear, direct, and substantial interest in this application.”
On October 12, 2017, North Gauteng High Court Justice Billy Motlhe set aside the findings of a 1972 inquest that found that the 29-year-old teacher Ahmed Timol had committed suicide by jumping from a window.
Instead, Motlhe found Timol was tortured and murdered by members of the security police who had either pushed him out of a 10th floor window or from the roof of John Vorster Square.
Motlhe also found Captains Hans Gloy and Faan van Niekerk had not only brutally tortured him, but also intended to murder Timol.
Wellington Tshazibane, Matthews Mabelane, Samuel Malinga, Dr Neil Aggett, Ernest Dipale, and Clayton Sizwe Sithole all died while in custody at John Vorster during apartheid.
The last person to die there was Sithole, Zindzi Mandela’s partner and father of her then eight-month-old baby, just 11 days before the release of Nelson Mandela.
A former security police “pay clerk”, Rodrigues had told Motlhe he had seen Timol dive out of the window, something Motlhe refused to believe and found Rodrigues to be an accessory after the fact to Timol’s murder.
It took a special court case for Cajee to be admitted to Rodrigues’ application for a stay of prosecution as Rodrigues had excluded Cajee when making his application.
Rodrigues’s replying affidavit is to be filed on Tuesday, and all parties must file their heads of argument by January 25.
Judge Ramarumo Monama is expected to hear the matter on January 28 in North Gauteng High Court.