Almost four decades after the death of apartheid activist, Ahmed Timol, there was jubilation and relief in the High Court in Pretoria on Thursday as Judge Billy Mothle ruled that Ahmed Timol did not commit suicide but was rather murdered by security branch police officers.
The Judge found that Timol died after being tortured and was pushed from a window. The court ordered that the last person to see Timol alive, Sergeant Jan Rodrigues, be investigated for murder as an accessory after the fact.
Timol's nephew, Imtiaz Cajee spoke to 702 Afternoon Drive host, Bongani Bingwa about Thursday's ruling.
Cajee says it will take some time for the judgment to sink in adding that it has been a very long journey.
Judge Billy Mothle's findings are profound and will obviously go down in democratic history that we successfully managed to reserve an inquest findings in a democratic South Africa.— Imtiaz Cajee, Ahmed Timol's nephew
Cajee explains that as a family, they embarked on several initiatives to preserve the legacy of his late uncle.
They published a book in 2005, he engaged with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) since 2002, including his late grandmother's testimony at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in 2006.
Back then all the security branch officers were alive and had ample time to come forward and make full disclosures, he adds.
All those opportunities had lapsed. My correspondence with the NPA was pivotal because I had formally requested them to investigate the matter and that application was unsuccessful.— Imtiaz Cajee, Ahmed Timol's nephew
Nevertheless, he continued pursuing the matter and received the assistance of Yasmin Sooka, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Human Rights, who raised the necessary funding.
We then conducted our own internal investigation and later submitted our findings to the National Director of Public Prosecutions who then had no doubt to pursue the inquest.— Imtiaz Cajee, Ahmed Timol's nephew
I managed to remain calm and composed during the inquest while listening to gory details of the torture inflicting on my uncle.— Imtiaz Cajee, Ahmed Timol's nephew
Cajee goes on to say he had to restrain himself while former security branch sergeant Jan Rodrigues stood there lying to the courts and wasted a perfect opportunity granted to him to make full disclosure.
Cajee tells Bingwa that the story has not yet come to an end as he is presently working on a second book that will detail the events leading to the arrest of his late uncle.
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This article first appeared on 702 : Ahmed Timol's nephew speaks: Justice four decades after his uncle's death