S. Africa: Murder trial of ex-apartheid cop adjourned

By Hassan Isilow

JOHANNESBURG (AA) – A court in South Africa on Monday adjourned the pre-trial hearing of a former apartheid policeman Joao Rodrigues, who is accused of murdering anti-apartheid campaigner Ahmed Timol 47 years ago.

The former apartheid special police branch had claimed that Timol committed suicide by jumping from a widow of a building.

But, a court in Pretoria found last year that Timol had died after being tortured and pushed from a window by security branch police officers.

Rodrigues, 79, is currently out on bail and said to have been the last person to see Timol alive.

Jaap Cilliers, Rodrigues’ advocate, said he will apply for a permanent stay for prosecution citing his client’s advanced age.

However, Timol’s supporters and family believe age should not be a barrier to justice. The case has been adjourned until next Monday.

Many anti-apartheid activists were jailed, tortured and some murdered by apartheid police for opposing white minority rule which ended in South Africa in 1994.