Ahmed Timol’s family hopes for closure as court ruling expected

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Timol More than four decades after Ahmed Timol died, his family hopes that Thursday’s ruling will provide some answers and bring closure to them.

The High Court in Pretoria will today deliver its findings in the re-opened inquest into Timol’s death.

The anti-apartheid activist fell to his death in 1972, with the security branch claiming that he had taken his own life by jumping from the 10th floor of the John Vorster Square Police Station.

Timol’s family advocate Howard Varney argued that a strong case had been made to reverse the original finding of suicide and replace it with one of murder.

Varney asked the court to recommend that the last security branch member to see Timol alive, Jan Rodrigues, be charged with the crime.

Rodrigues claims that while he was keeping guard over Timol, the detainee dashed towards a window and leapt to his death.

Judge Billy Mothle questioned the former sergeant about various aspects of his evidence which were deemed highly improbable.

The Timol family has also asked the court to order the release of all former detainees’ records to their families to help them find closure.