Timol fell mid-morning, not afternoon – second witness disputes post-mortem

2017-08-10 17:43

A second witness claims that Ahmed Timol fell to his death during the mid-morning hours of October 27 1971.

Timol was the 22 detainee to die at the notorious John Vorster Square building.

It was ruled by apartheid magistrate JL de Villiers that he had committed suicide by jumping from the building to his death.

His family, however, disputed this claim, and rallied to get the inquest into his death reopened to prove that Timol was murdered by being pushed or thrown from by state security policemen.

Today Abdullah Adam testified at the North Gauteng High Court that he had seen Timol’s body lying on a bed of shrubs during the mid-morning hours of that day.

Adam worked at the Dollars petrol station as an administrative clerk.

Another witness, Mohammed Thokan who was filling petrol in his car that day, also testified last week that he had been at the scene where Timol’s body was.

Today the petrol station is known as Kudeko Auto Body, a panel-beating shop, but Adam has been in its employ for 47 years.

He said he knew it was mid-morning when Timol’s body was lying on the bed of shrubs because it was his “tea time” and he hadn’t had any breakfast that day. Adam had to walk across the street in order to see what had happened.

Thokan testified last week that he had witnessed Timol falling from John Vorster Square during the mid-morning of October 27 1971.

When Judge Billy Mothle asked him if he was mistaken about the time of day Thokan maintained that he was not mistaken.

Thokan and Adam’s testimony have shed new light on the case.

It was previously believed that Timol had died at around 4pm, as stated by Joao Roderigues, an ex-security official who claims he was the last man to see Timol alive.

Roderigues, during his cross-examination last week, maintained that he played no role in Timol’s death.

Roderigues claims to have witnessed Timol jumping from room 1026, on the 10th floor of the building where Timol was being held for interrogation.

In order to help verify the exact time of Timol’s death, Professor Steve Naidoo, an expert forensic pathologist was called in to testify once more, after he presented the court with previous evidence on the injuries which Timol had prior to falling to his death.

Naidoo said that despite the ruling by the pathologist who had conducted the post-mortem that Timol had died “recently”, it was “not possible” to give an exact time of his death.

Naidoo said that the time of death can only be an estimate “that can be narrowed with scientific examination and testing”. He said it would still be just an “estimate” within a certain range.

Court resumes on Monday August 14.

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March 18 2018