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'Timol died so that men and women may be free'

Advocate Howard Varney adapted lines from a book about coping with harsh interrogation, which was given freedom fighters like Timol to read.

Ahmed Timol. Picture: ahmedtimol.co.za

PRETORIA – Ahmed Timol’s family advocate has told the High Court that the young communist did not die in vain, but died so that South Africans can be free.

After nearly a month of evidence, closing argument in the inquest into the anti-apartheid activist’s death concluded in Pretoria on Thursday.

Timol fell to his death in 1972. The security branch claimed he had taken his own life by jumping from the 10th floor of the John Vorster Square Police Station.

In his closing remarks, Advocate Howard Varney adapted lines from a book about coping with harsh interrogation, which was given to freedom fighters like Timol to read.

“Like thousands of other communists, Ahmed Timol died so that men and women may be free. In reliving Ahmed Timol’s life and struggle, we can’t write objectively. We can only take his hand which was so strong in death and thank him.”

He says as Timol was being battered he would have looked to the future he was fighting for.

“He would have known that his approaching death would ultimately pave the way for a new South Africa with its enshrined freedoms.

“South Africa, with an independent judiciary, would wash away the lies and deception and expose the truth of his final days and hours.”

Varney has asked the court to reverse the original finding that Timol committed suicide and recommend the criminal prosecution of the last security branch member to see him alive.

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