The family of slain activist Ahmed Timol want the ANC to intervene to ensure his killers and others who committed atrocities during apartheid are arrested and prosecuted.
They want the ANC to urge the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to start prosecuting cases which were identified at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).
The Timols made the plea after one of his alleged murderers Joao Rodriques approached the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein to challenge the decision of the South Gauteng High Court to dismiss his application for a permanent stay of prosecution.
“The delay in bringing Joao Rodrigues to trial is unconscionable and an affront to the family of Ahmed Timol and their 48-year struggle for justice in South Africa.
“It has been three years (October 12, 2017) since Judge Billy Mothle overruled a 1972 inquest finding that Ahmed Timol had committed suicide by jumping to his death from the 10th floor of John Vorster Square Police Station,” the family said.
The appeal is to be heard on November 6.
The family further said: “In an extraordinary move which threatens to embarrass the democratic state and the ruling party, Rodrigues’s legal team has argued that he received a blanket amnesty which precludes his prosecution for murder.
The family said the judge ordered that Rodrigues, a former Security Branch policeman who was the only person in the room at the time “Timol was pushed or thrown from the window,” be charged and referred the matter to the NPA.
He also added that charges be considered by the NPA against security police officers Neville Els and Seth Sons for perjury.
“This judgment was a victory not only for the family of Ahmed Timol, but for the oppressed majority of South Africans including detainees, who were brutally detained, tortured, murdered and scarred for life by the racist apartheid regime. Many of them sat in the galley with local and international media celebrating this historic ruling.
“Regrettably for the Timol family and numerous activists tortured during the years of apartheid, the Acting Director of Public Prosecutions, Pretoria, advocate George Baloyi decided not to charge Els and Sons following a delay of more than two and a half years to come to a decision only because of the persistence of Timol’s nephew, Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee.
“The reasons provided by advocate Baloyi are spurious in claims that Els was not involved in the torture or abuse of any political detainees, this despite the detainee file of Professor Kantilal Naik confirming Els’s complicity as he was present when Naik was tortured.
“Els was also the subject of an investigation regarding serious allegations of assault, abuse and electrical shock treatment and even signed an undertaking relating to the provision of state legal representation on November 25, 1980,” the family said.
Timol’s nephew Cajee said the legal firm Webber Wentzel and Foundation for Human Rights had made representations to the NPA to reverse its decision to not prosecute Els and Sons.
ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe did not respond to a request to comment.
Image: Gulshan Khan / AFP