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Essop Pahad: Ahmed Timol would have never committed suicide

Pahad has given evidence in the High Court in Pretoria during the second leg of the inquest into the 1971 death of Ahmed Timol.

Ahmed Timol. Picture: Ahmedtimol.co.za

PRETORIA - Former Minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad has testified that there was never any policy or practice in either the South African Communist Party (SACP) or African National Congress (ANC) to commit suicide if detained by the apartheid regime.

Pahad has given evidence in the High Court in Pretoria during the second leg of the inquest into the 1971 death of Ahmed Timol.

He died four days after being detained by the security police, which claimed he committed suicide by jumping from the 10th floor of the John Vorster Square police station.

A central aspect of the police’s version of events is that communists were under instruction to kill themselves in order to avoid revealing information during interrogation.

Pahad says the claim that communists would commit suicide in detention is a fabrication by the security branch.

“It has never been part of policy of the party or the ANC or any protocol and you will never find it in any documents of the party or the ANC where anybody would have been asked to commit suicide.”

He says knowing Timol as a close friend he would never have killed himself.

“Ahmed Timol himself was a Muslim and a Muslim in terms of Islamic ethics, should not and cannot commit suicide.”

Pahad added that his friend had fallen deeply in love with a woman in London whom he planned to return to.

WATCH: Court hears details of Ahmed Timol's death

(Edited by Zinhle Nkosi)

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