Neil Aggett


Johannesburg - About 50 Fawu members protested outside the Johannesburg Central police station on Thursday demanding a probe into the 1982 death of union organiser Neil Aggett.

The Food and Allied Workers' Union members were dressed in red T-shirts bearing pictures of Aggett's face.

Aggett allegedly hanged himself while in detention at the Johannesburg Central police station, reportedly following a lengthy period of torture.

Fawu members carried placards that read: “The state must stop doing business with Aggett killers” and “Rename Tembisa hospital to Dr Aggett hospital”.

Aggett was a medical doctor. He worked as a physician in black hospitals in Mthatha, Tembisa, and at the now Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto during apartheid, according to Wikipedia.

He was appointed an unpaid organiser of the Transvaal Food and Canning Workers' Union, among his other activities.

Aggett was detained by the security police on November 27, 1981. He died on February 5 the following year after 70 days of detention without trial.

The security police said Aggett committed suicide while being held at the John Vorster Square police station.

Aggett made an affidavit 14 hours before his death that he had been assaulted, blindfolded and given electric shocks. After a 44-day inquest, a magistrate ruled that his death was not brought about by any act or omission by police. - Sapa