Forty-four years after Timol’s death, the police’s story that he committed suicide by jumping from a 10th floor window at John Vorster Square, remained unchallenged in law.
Although the police couldn't explain the torture marks on Timol’s body, inquest
magistrate JJL de Villiers could discern no hint of foul play: “Murder, in view
of the testimony given, is excluded – and even considering it is ludicrous …
To accept anything other than that the deceased jumped out of the window and fell to the ground can only be seen as ludicrous ... Although he was questioned for long hours, he was treated in a civilised and humane manner.”
De Villiers’s are the official last words on the matter.
“My uncle and many others laid down their lives for the democracy we enjoy today. Much as we understand the reconciliation imperative of the new South Africa, it is repulsive that the findings of an apartheid magistrate remain on record as the official version of the truth,” Imtiaz Cajee said.
Ahmed Timol was the first of six detainees to die violent deaths while under interrogation at John Vorster Square. Those who followed him were Matthews Mojo Mabelane, Neil Aggett, Ernest Moabi Dipale, Stanza Bopape and Clayton Sithole. Nobody has ever been put on trial for any of these deaths.