A judge in South Africa has ruled that Ahmed Timol, a communist anti-apartheid campaigner, did not commit suicide but was murdered by the police 46 years ago.
In 1971, Timol was found dead at the foot of the central police station in Johannesburg and the official police version was that he had jumped or fallen to his death while in custody.
But on Thursday, October 12, Judge Billy Mothle said he was convinced by the evidence, including testimony by another anti-apartheid campaigner, Salim Essop, who survived, that Timol had been murdered.
"Timol was tortured by interrogating members of the security branch in order to extract information out of him. Timol's fall to the ground was as a result of being pushed either from a window of room 1026 or from the top of the roof of the John Vorster Square building," said Judge Mothle.
Timol was a member of the South African Communist Party who spent a year in Moscow in 1969.
He returned to South Africa and two years later met his death.
On October 27, 1971, Timol had been interrogated in the John Vorster Square police station in Johannesburg by Captains Gloy and Van Niekerk, both of whom have since died.
An inquest in 1972, 18 years before the fall of apartheid, ruled Timol's death was suicide but Judge Mothle rejected.
"The allegations by security branch members that Timol was not assaulted are not true… The conclusion by the magistrate that Timol was treated in a civilized manner is also not true," Judge Mothle concluded.
Timol's nephew, Imtiaz Cajee, who had campaigned for years for justice for his uncle, shook hands with friends and supporters.