Key witness in Timol inquest accused of fabricating evidence

A former security police officer, Jan Rodrigues, has been told that he has fabricated his evidence in the inquest into the death of former anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol.

Rodrigues was told that his claim that Timol committed suicide simply cannot be true.

Timol died after falling ten floors from the John Vorster Square police station in 1971. The apartheid regime claimed he had committed suicide.

EWN reporter Barry Bateman says it was put directly to Rodrigues that his witnessing Timol's death was fabricated.

This is a fabrication and you are playing along with the security police.

Barry Bateman, EWN reporter

According to Bateman, Rodrigues remembered finer details of the moments before Timol jumped out the window, even his facial expressions but could not describe what Mr X looked like. Mr X is a special agent who cannot be named.

He claims that Mr X walked into the room where he was then left with Timol after Mr X informed them that another activist Quinton Jackobson has been arrested.

He says that Timol's face was covered with shock by hearing that Quinton had been arrested.

Barry Bateman, EWN reporter

He says he was then asked to look after Mr Timol ... He says Timol asked to please go to the bathroom which he thought was a reasonable request. As he got up, Timol made a duck to the window, he opened the window and he dived out.

Barry Bateman, EWN reporter

According to Bateman, the court questioned how Rodrigues, who was an admin clerk handing out salary cheques, was put in charge of guarding a highly valuable security branch detainee.

Bateman thinks, based on Rodrigues evidence, the outcome would be that he is an unreliable witness, that his version is improbable and that he is covering up for the security police.

He did not have security clearance to handle this kind of activity.

Barry Bateman, EWN reporter

To hear more of this interview, listen below:

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