Ex-apartheid cop accused of activist Timol murder back in the dock

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JOHANNESBURG, December 19 – Former apartheid police officer Joao Rodridues who is accused of murdering activist Ahmed Timol is expected to appear at the South Gauteng High Court on Wednesday.

Rodrigues’ legal team is expected to provide the court with prepared arguments to support their application for a permanent stay of prosecution.

During the accused’s previous appearance, Judge Ramarumo Monama said that the application for a permanent stay of prosecution, an interlocutory application, would be dealt with before the main trial.

The decision to charge Rodrigues nearly five decades after Timol fell to his death from the 10th-floor of Johannesburg’s police headquarters followed a review of the inquest that initially ruled his demise a suicide.

Timol, 29, was arrested in Johannesburg in October 1971 and died five days later.

Police claimed at the time that Timol took his own life – a verdict that was endorsed by an inquest in 1972. However, after a long campaign by the deceased’s family – lasting nearly 50 years, that verdict was finally overturned by a court in October 2017.

Judge Billy Mothle recommended that prosecutors reconsider Rodrigues’ role in Timol’s murder.

As a result, Rodrigues now faces charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice. (ANA)