Anti-apartheid activist and trade unionist Dr Neil Aggett. Picture: Wesley Fester/ANA Archives
Anti-apartheid activist and trade unionist Dr Neil Aggett. Picture: Wesley Fester/ANA Archives

Aggett's family still believes there was foul play in his death, says presiding judge

By Siviwe Feketha Time of article published Jan 20, 2020

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Johannesburg - The reopened inquest into the alleged suicide of anti-apartheid activist and trade unionist, Dr Neil Aggett, got under way at the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg on Monday morning.

Almost 38 years later, Judge Motsamai Makume, will be presiding over the reopened inquest.


Officially opening the proceedings, Judge Makume said it was Justice Minister Ronald Lamola who directed Judge President of the Gauteng Division of the High Court Dunstan Mlambo last year to appoint a judge to reopen the inquest, as Aggett’s family still believed there had been foul play in his death.

Aggett, a media doctor by profession, died in 1982 at the John Vorster Police Station while in custody, and an inquest into his death found no foul play on the part of the police.

This was despite revelations that Aggett was tortured by the police during the 70 days of his detention which preceded his death.

His body was found hanging in his cell, but the Truth and Reconciliation Commission refused to give the police amnesty for his death, which opened doors for his family to request for the reopening of the inquest.

The inquest is set to continue until February 28.

Political Bureau

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