Joao Rodrigues loses second bid to stay prosecution for Ahmed Timol murder
Pretoria - Former apartheid police officer Joao Rodrigues on Wednesday lost another application he had filed in an attempt to have his prosecution for the murder of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol stayed.
Rodrigues' initial application for a permanent stay of prosecution application filed in 2018 was dismissed at the South Gauteng High Court in June.
"This is a significant victory not only for Ahmed Timol’s late parents, but all victims of apartheid-era crimes," nephew of Ahmed Timol, Imtiaz Cajee said.
In his second dismissed application, Rodrigues had argued that the court misdirected itself by instituting criminal proceedings against him 47 years after the incident, which he believes infringes on his right to a fair trial.
He also argued that the judge failed to consider the deliberate political interference at the highest political level, which caused the substantial delay.
His 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 could not testify.
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.
Timol died in 1971 after falling from the 10th floor of the 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. The matter has been postponed to 28 September.
African News Agency (ANA)