Former apartheid police officer Joao Rodrigues appears at the at the South Gauteng high court. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA) 784 22.10.2018
Former apartheid police officer Joao Rodrigues appears at the at the South Gauteng high court. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA) 784 22.10.2018

Ahmed Timol murder case postponed again

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Apr 8, 2021

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Cape Town - Three years after former apartheid security branch officer Joao Rodrigues first appeared in court for the murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol, his criminal trial has yet to commence.

On Thursday, the case was again postponed pending the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling in Rodrigues’s application for leave to appeal the dismissal of the permanent stay of prosecution application by the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg in 2019.

The SCA has yet deliver its verdict after Rodrigues’s application was heard on November 6, 2019.

Rodrigues was charged for the murder of Timol after the second inquest found that he did not die from suicide.

In 1972, an inquest ruled that Timol committed suicide when he jumped to his death at the John Vorster Square police station in October 1971 and that nobody was responsible for his death.

When the inquest was re-opened, Judge Billy Mothle in October 2017 overturned the 1972 inquest finding from suicide to Timol having been murdered in police detention.

The National Prosecuting Authority subsequently recommended that Rodrigues be investigated for his role in the murder of Timol.

Rodrigues was charged and made his first court appearance in July 2018 for murder and defeating the ends of justice.

However, he applied for permanent stay of prosecution in March 2019, but his application was dismissed in September 2019.

The SCA heard his leave to appeal the dismissal of his application of stay of prosecution in November 2020.

Rodrigues’s next court appearance in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court in Germiston is set for May 6 and his bail has been extended.

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