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Judge finds Ahmed Timol was pushed to death, did not commit suicide

schumi

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#1
In 1972, Timol’s death was ruled a suicide by magistrate JL de Villiers.

Anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol did not commit suicide, but was tortured and murdered by members of the security police who either pushed him out of a 10th floor window or from the roof of John Vorster Square, the High Court in Pretoria has found.

Judge Billy Motlhe yesterday set aside the findings of a 1972 inquest that found that the 29-year-old teacher, who was a South African Communist Party member who received military training in Moscow with President Thabo Mbeki, had committed suicide.

He found that the now deceased security policemen, Captains Hans Gloy and Faan van Niekerk, had not only brutally tortured him, but also murdered him with intent in the form of dolus eventualis.

He found that both of them, and especially Van Niekerk, had a history of brutality and complaints of torture against them, and knew that death could result from their brutal interrogation methods, but nevertheless continued to torture Timol to get information out of him.

He found that Joao (Jan) Rodrigues, the former security police pay clerk who told the court he had seen Timol jump up and dive out of the window without saying a word, had been brought in at a later stage by the security police to cover up Timol’s murder and that he had repeatedly perjured himself.

Judge Motlhe found that Rodrigues was an accessory after the fact to the murder and recommended that he be investigated for murder and perjury.

He said the reopened inquest, which was the first of its kind in South Africa, also highlighted the deaths of other political detainees who died in police custody and whose families were still searching for the truth.
More at: https://citizen.co.za/news/south-af...l-was-pushed-to-death-did-not-commit-suicide/
 

BlackMamba

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#2
Those Apartheid police were bad... lots of people were killed and lots varnished by the hands of the police. .... dark days
 

saturnz

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#3
Those Apartheid police were bad... lots of people were killed and lots varnished by the hands of the police. .... dark days

Are you serious? Things were better under the old regime, just look at GDP growth in dollar terms for proof.
 

friedpiggy

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#5
My only question is, How does this help the country now? How is finding that 40 years ago mr. xyz from the apartheid state killed mr. abc doing anything to solve the problems in this country? It does sod all. Yes apartheid was terrible in some respects. In other ways it wasn't that bad. The same thing with the Nazi dudes, killed a couple million people, but they did institute a massive public works program that led to the autobahn etc. So not 100% bad then.

The biggest issue in SA is that everyone is so focused on what happened 40-80 years ago that they have taken their eyes off the present and the future.
 

Arthur

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#6
I'm not so sure.

How could Timol's murder possibly help the Security Police or the apartheid state? If they had intended to get rid of Timol they would almost certainly have done so in a way that didn't attract the world's attention, not by pushing him out onto a pavement in full view of the public in SA's biggest city.

South Africa was under intense scrutiny at the time, by the local and international media and dozens of anti-apartheid groups and governments. A very public death at the local police headquarters was the last thing the regime needed or wanted as that only played into the hands of those pushing for isolation and sanctions.

I think that the original finding is far more likely - that Timol snapped under torture and lunged through the window to end it.

I also suspect the pay clerk Rodrigues was not present at the torture-interrogation session and was roped in afterwards, and thus lied in the original inquest.

I'm not sure how this gives closure to the Timol family.

(I say this as an opponent of the apartheid state. I have been arrested and questioned by the Security Police, and been detained without trial in solitary confinement at John Vorster Square. I know the cells there.)
 
Last edited:
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#7
The biggest issue in SA is that everyone is so focused on what happened 40-80 years ago that they have taken their eyes off the present and the future.
It is the only way to hide their incompetence, corruptness, stupidity, disfunctionality, greediness, irrationality, inferiority and what else. And the frightening thing is, most of them don't even realise they are doing it (Dunning-Kruger). Africa @ work.
 

saturnz

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#8
The biggest issue in SA is that everyone is so focused on what happened 40-80 years ago that they have taken their eyes off the present and the future.
maybe we should all follow your example to a brighter and better future

maybe you should tell all those who were forcibly removed from District Six that they should rather focus on the present and future and forget about what happened 40 years ago

or how about we don't stress about the current and present, because in 40 years time the next generation can just forget about what happened today, so it doesn't really matter
 
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Oppiekoffie

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#10
My only question is, How does this help the country now? How is finding that 40 years ago mr. xyz from the apartheid state killed mr. abc doing anything to solve the problems in this country? It does sod all. Yes apartheid was terrible in some respects. In other ways it wasn't that bad. The same thing with the Nazi dudes, killed a couple million people, but they did institute a massive public works program that led to the autobahn etc. So not 100% bad then.

The biggest issue in SA is that everyone is so focused on what happened 40-80 years ago that they have taken their eyes off the present and the future.
It doesn't, just some attention seekers, crybabies

I'm not so sure.

How could Timol's murder possibly help the Security Police or the apartheid state? If they had intended to get rid of Timol they would almost certainly have done so in a way that didn't attract the world's attention, not by pushing him out onto a pavement in full view of the public in SA's biggest city.

South Africa was under intense scrutiny at the time, by the local and international media and dozens of anti-apartheid groups and governments. A very public death at the local police headquarters was the last thing the regime needed or wanted as that only played into the hands of those pushing for isolation and sanctions.

I think that the original finding is far more likely - that Timol snapped under torture and lunged through the window to end it.

I also suspect the pay clerk Rodrigues was not present at the torture-interrogation session and was roped in afterwards, and thus lied in the original inquest.

I'm not sure how this gives closure to the Timol family.

(I say this as an opponent of the apartheid state. I have been arrested and questioned by the Security Police, and been detained without trial in solitary confinement at John Vorster Square. I know the cells there.)
As replied to piggie

And what about all those people who were injured and killed in the bombs by the so called "freedom fighters"
 

infscrtyrisk

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#11
Those Apartheid police were bad... lots of people were killed and lots varnished by the hands of the police. .... dark days
Not sure about the "lots of people" but I can say this: They delivered on their mandate at the time and certainly weren't incompetent.
 

battletoad

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#12
This guy's family has been fighting for the truth for decades. Now they can finally get closure. That its news today is because it was quite a big thing back then to many people.

I've no idea why other matters (nazis, corruption etc.) are being strung along into this thread. Could it be that closure's only available to a select few? If you've nothing to say about this specific incident, rather shut up or go make another thread to bitch in.
 
Joined
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#13
This guy's family has been fighting for the truth for decades. Now they can finally get closure. That its news today is because it was quite a big thing back then to many people.

I've no idea why other matters (nazis, corruption etc.) are being strung along into this thread. Could it be that closure's only available to a select few? If you've nothing to say about this specific incident, rather shut up or go make another thread to bitch in.
So they'll only get closure once they get the verdict that they want? :rolleyes:
 

noxibox

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#15
It would not be surprising if the police did it. They definitely had the attitude that they could do what they wanted and get away with anything. However even if he committed suicide due to his mental state as a result of torture the police should still have been found culpable. And they continued torturing people showing that they believed they could get away with it and whitewash any resulting deaths. The South African state continued to whitewash these deaths well into the 80s.

Lots were bombed as well, or shoujldn't we bring up the truth here?
Of course there were bombings. By both sides in fact.

And what about all those people who were injured and killed in the bombs by the so called "freedom fighters"
Well they were actual freedom fighters. And there were many admissions of their wrongdoing.

Not sure about the "lots of people" but I can say this: They delivered on their mandate at the time and certainly weren't incompetent.
They were scum, but efficient scum.
 

HunterNW

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#16
Could it be that closure's only available to a select few? If you've nothing to say about this specific incident, rather shut up or go make another thread to bitch in.
Yep.. only the selected we see in the news... Timol's family, including all the other terrorist caders.
 

evilstebunny

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Dec 20, 2007
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#17
People should put stuff that happened in context..

Necklacing is the practice of summary execution and torture carried out by forcing a rubber tire, filled with petrol, around a victim's chest and arms, and setting it on fire. The victim may take up to 20 minutes to die, suffering severe burns in the process.
They usually did this to their own people..
 
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Mephisto_Helix

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#19
It would have been interesting to hear what new evidence was actually uncovered .... not that I doubt it happened this way, just curious to see what could not remain covered after all this time.
 

thestaggy

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#20
but the court accepted the evidence of several top-ranking apartheid-era SACP members who testified that this was not the case and that imprisonment was seen as a badge of honor.

Judge Motlhe commended for their courage the numerous former political detainees who testified in horrifying detail about their own torture at the hands of the apartheid-era security police.
Sounds like a highly politicised case.

Also, seeing as everyone directly involved in the incident is now deceased, I'm curious as to what new evidence was brought forward?
 
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