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

JOHANNESBURG - Former apartheid security police officer Joao Rodrigues accused of murdering apartheid activist Ahmed Timol will know on Monday whether he will be prosecuted for the four decades old heinous crime.

A full bench at the South Gauteng High Court is expected to hand down its judgment on Rodrigues' application for a permanent stay of prosecution that he made late last year. Arguments were heard on 28 and 29 March.

In 1971 Timol plunged to his death from the 10th floor of the then John Vorster Square Police Station in Johannesburg, where he had been held because of his anti-apartheid activities.

The original inquest which was held in 1972 concluded that Timol committed suicide. Most of the evidence was centred around Rodrigues's testimony. 

Rodrigues claimed at the time that he saw Timol jump out of a window, but he couldn't save him because he tripped over a chair.

However, the matter was revisited decades later.

In 2017, judge Billy Mothle ruled that Timol did not commit suicide. It was found that Timol was murdered. This led to Rodrigues being charged in July 2018.

A legal representative maintains it would be unfair to put Rodrigues on trial because the two policemen who left him with Timol in the room from where he plunged to his death were dead and therefore can't testify.

African News Agency (ANA)