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Timol contradictions lead to recalling of witnesses

Publish date: 07 August 2017
Issue Number: 737
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa

Evidence led at the inquest into the death of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol contradicted the testimony given by retired police officer Joao Rodrigues. According to report on the Polity site, Judge Billy Mothle said that owing to contradicting accounts – which even differed on the time Timol ‘fell’ to his death – forensic pathologists Dr Steve Naidoo and Dr Shakeera Holland as well as Rodrigues will have to be recalled to have their testimonies re-examined. Rodrigues had told the court that it was in the afternoon when he was left alone in the room with the anti-apartheid activist. He said he saw Timol dive out of the window from the 10th floor. However, Muhammad Ali Thokan – a man who was filling petrol across the road from John Vorster Square on that day – said he was certain the incident occurred in the morning. He said a pedestrian exclaimed at the time that a body had fallen from a building, when he went to investigate he was told to ‘F-off’ by a group of plain-clothes police officers. The judge inquired if Thokan was sure about the time of day. Thokan stuck to his story and said he wouldn’t have driven to Pretoria in the afternoon as government offices would have been closed. On Friday, Mothle subpoenaed Ahmed Adam who worked at Dollars filling station to enlighten the court on the dispute on the time of day. The report adds the inquest was postponed to 10 August.

Full report on the Polity site