Former security branch officer denies assaulting Neil Aggett

Nicolas Deetlefs has been testifying at the Aggett Inquiry at the High Court in Johannesburg.

Anti-apartheid activist Neil Aggett was tortured for three days before his death in 1982. Picture: Wikipedia.

JOHANNESBURG - A former security branch police officer on Wednesday denied ever assaulting activist Neil Aggett.

Nicolas Deetlefs is testifying at the Aggett Inquiry at the High Court in Johannesburg.

Aggett died in police custody in 1982 at the then John Vorster Square police station in Johannesburg.

The security police said Aggett committed suicide, but his family believe he was killed.

Deetlefs interrogated Aggett for weeks at the John Vorster Square police station before he died.

But Deetlefs has told the court he never hurt Aggett.

He said he treated Aggett with respect and referred to him as doctor.

Deetlefs was taken to task about a statement he made in 2000: “I’ve written here that Mr Aggett hanged himself on the first or the fourth. I don’t see what difference it would have made.”

Deetlefs is back on the witness stand on Thursday.