Johannesburg - Former apartheid cop Joao Rodrigues's failed application for a permanent stay of prosecution for allegedly murdering activist Ahmed Timol in 1971 has been hailed as a boost for justice for the country's painful past.
On Monday morning at the South Gauteng High Court, Judge Seun Moshidi ruled that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) could go ahead and prosecute Rodrigues for allegedly been part of the brutal murder of Timol.
The anti-apartheid activist was thrown out of a 10th-story window of the notorious John Vorster police station, now known as Johannesburg Central police station, in October 1971.
In his main arguments for a stay of prosecution, Rodrigues had said the length of time since Timol's death, his age (80) and his memory loss would preclude the interest of justice should he be tried for the murder.
However, Judge Moshidi, reading from a full-bench judgement, dismissed those arguments, saying that "the interest of justice and society's need for accountability... mitigated against granting a permanent stay of prosecution".