Apartheid cop implicated in Ahmed Timol murder granted bail

30 July 2018 - 12:41 By Timeslive
Joao Rodrigues, the apartheid-era policeman implicated in the murder of slain activist Ahmed Timol, at the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on July 30 2018.
Joao Rodrigues, the apartheid-era policeman implicated in the murder of slain activist Ahmed Timol, at the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on July 30 2018.
Image: ALON SKUY

Joao Rodrigues‚ the apartheid policeman implicated in the murder of slain activist Ahmed Timol‚ was granted bail of R2‚000 on Monday.

He appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court after it emerged on Sunday that Rodrigues had been issued with a warrant of arrest.

Last year‚ the High Court in Pretoria ruled that Timol did not commit suicide‚ as concluded by apartheid-era investigations.

Eighty-year-old Rodrigues last year gave evidence in an inquest into Timol's death in the Pretoria High Court‚ which replaced the 1972 suicide finding with one of murder.

Rodrigues was a member of the security branch and is the last known person to have seen Timol alive before the 29-year-old activist allegedly fell to his death from a 10th floor window at John Vorster Square (now known as Johannesburg central police station) in 1971.

On Monday, Timol's family told TimesLIVE they were relieved that somebody is finally being held accountable for his death.

Imtiaz Cajee‚ Timol's nephew‚ said, "One is filled with mixed emotions that more than four decades later I witnessed him handing himself over and having his first court appearance."

Cajee expressed gratitude to the director of public prosecutions for charging Rodrigues. "It’s been a long journey and we accepted fate that nothing would happen. [But in] nine months we’ve managed to overturn the outcome of [the death report via] the inquiry.

"We are happy that we will be able to get to the heart of the matter. It’s important for people like Rodrigues to disclose what happened as opposed to the inquests."

"The Timol matter is one of many. My heart goes out to Thembelihle Simelane's family for the Cradock four assassination‚" said Cajee.

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