An apartheid-era security policeman is accused of lying to an inquest 46 years ago into the death in detention of a 29-year-old anti-apartheid activist.
Jan Rodrigues, who’s now 78, told the court then that Ahmed Timol had committed suicide by jumping out of the window on the 10th floor of what was then called John Vorster Square.
Timol’s family maintain he was thrown out of the window by police.
The re-opened inquest in the Gauteng High Court goes into its 14th day today (Thursday).
Ahmed Timol’s family say they are amazed at how much they’ve learned about the young school teacher’s death.
Ex security policeman Jan Rodrigues says Timol was left with him on October 27, 1971 when his two interrogators left the room.
Timol asked to go to the toilet.
When he was allowed to stand, he rushed to the window and jumped out.
Advocate Howard Varney, for the Timol family, put it that the room was so small, Rodrigues could easily have stopped the physically slighter detainee.
Earlier the counsel for the Department of Public Prosecutions put it to Rodrigues that he was tailoring his evidence, as he had in 1971, to suit the police version of events.
The Timol case never came up in the nineties, after democracy in South Africa, when a truth and reconciliation commission offered apartheid offenders the chance of immunity if they gave truthful evidence about their crimes.