Ahmed Timol Picture: www.ahmedtimol.co.za

Johannesburg - The criminal case against former security policeman Joao Rodrigues, who is accused of murdering anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol, has been delayed after the judgment on his application for a permanent stay of prosecution was not delivered on Monday.

Rodrigues's criminal case was expected to resume on Monday after arguments on his permanent stay of prosecution were heard before a full bench on 28 and 29 March.

The matter has been postponed to May 9.

Rodrigues's legal representative Advocate Jaap Cilliers SC had argued, in the South Gauteng High Court, that his client should benefit from the amnesty former president Nelson Mandela granted, or an agreement reached at the highest level of government, that politically motivated crimes preceding 1994 would not be prosecuted.

Cilliers had also argued that Rodrigues had been unfairly charged with the murder of Timol without conclusive evidence.

He said there had been unreasonable delays and blamed the State for charging Rodrigues with a matter which took place over three decades ago.

"How can an 80-year-old man defend himself from these vague allegations?" said Cilliers at the time.

He said a trial would be unfair to Rodrigues because the two officers who left him with Timol in the room are now dead and therefore can't testify.

Timol died in 1971 after falling from the 10th floor of the then John Vorster Square police station in Johannesburg, where he had been detained.

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

He said he saw Timol jump to his death and couldn't save him after he was tripped by a chair.

But in 2017, Judge Billy Mothle ruled that Timol did not commit suicide. It was found that he was murdered. Rodrigues was charged in July 2018.

African News Agency/ANA