Ahmed Timol murder case back in court, former cop in the dock


JOHANNESBURG, 14 October – Former apartheid-era policeman, Joao Rodrigues, is expected to appear at the South Gauteng High Court on Monday to face charges relating to the 1971 murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol.

Rodrigues, who was an officer in the police’s feared security branch, is accused of murdering Timol while he was in custody in 1971.

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

Police claimed at the time that he took his own life – a verdict that was endorsed by an inquest in 1972. However, last year in October – after a long campaign by the deceased’s family – the erroneous verdict was overturned by a court.

The court decided Rodrigues has a case to answer nearly five decades after Timol was pushed out of a window to his death from the 10th-floor of John Vorster Square – the city’s police headquarters now renamed Johannesburg Central Police Station.

Rodrigues, 80, is out on bail of R2,000.

– African News Agency (ANA)