Jan Rodrigues, now in his 80s, will appear in court on charges related to the death of Ahmed Timol. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria  -  Former security policeman  Joao (Jan) Roderiques is expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a charge of murder and defeating the ends of justice following the death of Ahmed Timol in October 1971.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Louw on Sunday confirmed that a warrant for his arrest had been issued. She said he is due to hand himself over to the Johannesburg Central Police Station, thereafter he will be taken to court.

Gauteng High Court, Pretoria Judge Billy Mothle in October last year ruled that anti-Apartheid activist Timol did not commit suicide, but that he was murdered in October 1971.

Timol was at the time interrogated by members of the then security branch on the 10th floor of the notorious John Vorster Square building in Johannesburg. 

Judge Mothle, during the reopening of Timol’s inquest, 46 years after his death, ruled that Timol was pushed out of the window of either the 10th floor or from the rooftop.

The judge found that the then security branch police officers who interrogated him were collectively responsible for his death and should be held accountable. This included Roderiques, who is now in his early 80’s.  

Ahmed Timol was a young schoolteacher in Roodepoort who opposed apartheid. He was arrested at a police roadblock on October 22, 1971, and died five days later. He was the 22nd political detainee to die in detention since 1960. Picture: www.ahmedtimol.co.za
 He maintained during his evidence last year that Timol had committed suicide by jumping out of the 10th floor of the notorious John Vorster Square building in Johannesburg. 

This was rejected by Judge Mothle, who replaced the 1972 inquest court’s suicide finding with one of murder. The judge recommended that Roderiques' role in the matter be re-investigated with a view to prosecution.