Timol murder trial postponed to January

Timol murder trial postponed to January

The trial against apartheid police officer Joao Rodrigues has been postponed to January 2019 in the High Court in Pretoria.

Ahmed Timol's nephew
Getty Images ( do not use)

Rodrigues is facing charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice for the death of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol.


Timol died 47 years ago, after falling ten floors from John Vorster Square Police Station where he was in custody. 


His death was ruled as a suicide.


However, in 2017, the High Court in Pretoria found that Timol died at the hands of apartheid security police. 


“As the state, we indicated months ago that we were ready for the trial and we are ready to start. What is important now is that the state brought an application for a permanent stay of prosecution and the judge has now ordered that any interested party who wants their voice to be heard in that application should notify the state before the 5thof November,” said National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane. 


If the application for permanent stay of prosecution is considered, the trial could be postponed indefinitely. 


“As the state we will oppose such an application because in as far as the law is concerned cases such as murder and rape they don’t prescribe, and it doesn’t matter how far back the incident happened, but so long as the state finds that there is someone who can be held liable for an alleged crime, then that case will be brought to court, this one is no exception. His age and the duration will not hold water,” added Mjonondwane. 


She has called on more families who suspect their loved ones were murdered by apartheid police should come forward. 


Timol’s nephew Imtiaz Cajee said while the third postponement delays justice, the family is happy a trial date has been set. 


Rodrigues’ bail has been extended to 2019.

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