Faizel Patel - 06/02/2020
The nephew of struggle stalwart Ahmed Timol has told Radio Islam, the harrowing evidence given at the inquest into the death of Dr Neil Aggett has given him a better understanding of what his own uncle endured.
The evidence at the Aggett inquest has lifted the veil from the utter disregard that apartheid security police officers regarded for human life.
Aggett died in detention at the John Vorster Square, now known as the Johannesburg Central police station in 1982.
Reverend Frank Chikane gave harrowing accounts of his treatment by apartheid security police and how his church had not supported him.
In one incident, his interrogators ripped his afro-style hair from his skull and made him throw it into a dustbin.
Speaking to Radio Islam, Imtiaz Cajee says people should not forget the ordeal of political detainees did not start from the arrest of his uncle in early seventies or Aggett’s in the eighties.
Cajee says it wasn’t just a brutal beating, but rather a systematic torture that was inflicted.
“Already in the sixties the likes of the late Isu Chiba Abdulhay Jassat, Stephanie Kemp, Mac Maharaj have documented publicly the horrendous torture that was inflicted on them and what had simply happened is that the techniques had become more intensified and security branch officers had actually got foreign training from their counterparts.”
Cajee’s uncle died in police detention in 1971.
In October 2017, the High Court in Pretoria ruled that Timol did not commit suicide but was rather murdered, overturning a 40-year-old inquest finding that endorsed the police’s version that Timol jumped to his death.
Listen to the interview with Imtiaz Cajee