Apartheid cop to be tried for Timol murder

Johannesburg – Retired policeman Joao Rodrigues, who is accused of the murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol, will go on trial in December, the South Gauteng High court ruled last Wednesday.

  Rodrigues, 81, will appear in court for the murder which happened 40 years ago. Timol, who was aged 29, was arrested in Johannesburg in October 1971 and died five days later. Rodrigues was the last person who saw him alive.

  The accused, whose bid to have the matter quashed has failed. He testified in the 1972 inquest which ruled that Timol committed suicide by jumping to his death from the 10th floor of the John Vorster Square building; now renamed as Johannesburg Central Police Station.

  After a long campaign by Timol’s family, the inquest verdict was overturned by Judge Billy Mothle in October 2017, who ruled that Timol did not commit suicide.

  The court found that the anti-apartheid activist was murdered.

  On Wednesday the court announced that Rodrigues will go on trial for Timol’s murder on 12 December 2019.

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