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'We can finally say Ahmed Timol was murdered'

The family of Ahmed Timol has described as unfortunate, the fact that the anti-apartheid activist's killers are no longer alive and able to take responsibility for their actions. 

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They were speaking shortly after High Court in Pretoria ruled that Timol did not commit suicide while in police custody in 1971, but was brutally murdered. 


Timol, a 29-year-old campaigner against white-minority rule, was arrested and after five days in detention he died after plummeting from the John Vorster police headquarters in Johannesburg.


Ahmed Timol's brother, Mohammad Timol, said the past 46 years had been a nightmare for the family. 


"It was 46 years of a nightmare that began, of detention of many people, and it had destroyed the life of many others. 


"But they kept the hope that one day South Africa will be free, because of the contribution they made and because of what they were subjected to during the period of detention." 


Ahmed Timol's nephew Imtiaz Cajee, who led the family's fight for the truth, said for the first time they are able to say his uncle was murdered by police. 


"That is very significant for me, because it is something that I have been struggling with over the years. 


"One had to be politically correct, and I think the findings by Judge (Billy) Mothle this morning reaffirms our view that we've always held that Ahmed Timol did not commit suicide. He did not die in police custody, but he was killed and murdered in police detention. 


"I think for me, apart from being totally overwhelmed that this particular leg of the journey has come to an end, that reality must sink in."


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