DURBAN - Imtiaz Cajee, the nephew of murdered anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol, has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to establish a judicial inquiry into the state’s failure to investigate and prosecute apartheid-era crimes.
Cajee said it was time South Africa understood why the current regime had failed to bring to justice those who maimed and killed freedom fighters.
Cajee’s long-drawn-out fight for prosecution of police officers he believed killed his uncle at the notorious John Vorster Square 46 years ago has, to a degree, borne fruit.
Judge Billy Mothle ruled in the Pretoria High Court in 2017 that Timol was killed by members of the security branch and did not commit suicide by jumping from the 10th floor of John Vorster Square 46 years ago.
He recommended the prosecution of ex-security policeman Joao Roderiques, 80, who was present when Timol died.
Roderiques is currently facing murder charges. He made a brief appearance at the South Gauteng High Court sitting in Palm Ridge yesterday.
The matter was postponed to March 28. Roderiques has sought a permanent stay of prosecution, arguing that he was now too old.
But, speaking to journalists outside court, Cajee expressed frustration that hundreds of cases about freedom fighters killed in detention and secret farms, such as Vlakplaas, were not being prosecuted.
There were not even moves planned to bring the mostly-ageing apartheid-era perpetrators to book.
Calling on Ramaphosa to institute a commission, Cajee said: “These matters have to be revisited.
“How many cases have they prosecuted since the TRC reports were handed over more than 20 years ago?
“We had presented a case to the NPA in 2016 not only on Uncle Ahmed, but also about Dr Neil Aggett, who also died in detention at John Vorster Square police station. What is the status of the investigation into the killing of Aggett?” Cajee asked.
Cases that remained unprosecuted or pardoned included those of the Cradock Four, the Gugulethu Seven, Matthew Mabelane, Nokuthula Simelane, Imam Haron and Suliman “Babla” Salooj.
The National Prosecuting Authority in Gauteng has previously said it was looking into prosecuting a number of apartheid cases.
Cajee decried that two other former officers who should be in the dock with Roderiques after Judge Mothle’s ruling, had still not been charged.
“Judge Mothle ruled that (former security branch officers) Neville Els and Seth Sons be charged for perjury. More than 15 months later, the investigations are still continuing,” said Cajee.