Calls for Joao Rodrigues to be prosecuted for Ahmed Timol’s murder

Saturday marked 47 years since Timol was killed while detained in police custody.

FILE: Joao Jan Rodrigues testifies during the Ahmed Timol inquest on 1 August 2017. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The family of Ahmed Timol say that the freedom fighter's murder accused Joao Rodrigues must be held accountable for his death.

Saturday marked 47 years since Timol was killed while detained in police custody.

Rodrigues was charged with Timol’s murder following an inquiry into the activist's death to find out if the activist had committed suicide as police had claimed at the time.

The court proceedings for the case are scheduled to begin in January next year, pending the outcome of an application to oppose the trial filed by Rodrigues' lawyers, based on his age.

Timol's nephew Imtiaz Cajee says the proceedings will finally bring closure to the family.

“There are a lot of painful memories. But on a positive aspect we can have some form of progress, the reversing of the inquest findings, 47 years later. Hopefully we’re hoping for Joao Rodrigues to finally face a court of law on 20 January for the murder of my uncle.”

At the same time, the South African Communist Party says it will continue to stand in solidarity with Timol’s family in calling for the arrest of those responsible for his murder.

The SACP’s Alex Mashilo says they are calling for Rodrigues to be prosecuted for Timol’s murder.

“It’s very important that justice is done. We need answers. They must be held accountable to the full extent of the law. In fact, this should be a national programme to ensure justice for all those murdered at the hands of apartheid police.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)