Former apartheid security branch officer Sergeant Joao “Jan” Rodrigues will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday on a charge of murder in connection with the death of activist Ahmed Timol nearly 47 years ago.
This was confirmed on Sunday by the National Prosecuting Authority.
“He will appear in Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court tomorrow‚ charged with murder and defeating the ends of justice‚” said NPA Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Louw.
Eighty-year-old Rodrigues gave evidence in last year’s reopened inquest into Timol’s death in the Pretoria High Court which replaced the 1972 court’s suicide finding with one of murder.
He was a member of the security branch who pushed paperwork and administration 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.
Rodrigues told the inquest that he had “never touched” Timol and he had declined to write the statement his seniors had allegedly wanted.
What he presented to the court was a repetition of the statement he had made at the first inquest into Timol’s death in 1972. In his statement at that inquest‚ the former cop said that Timol had jumped to his death after he had asked Rodrigues to accompany him to the bathroom.