Steve Biko Foun­da­tion com­mends fam­ily

Cape Times - - NEWS - Staff Writer

THE Steve Biko Foun­da­tion yes­ter­day com­mended the Ti­mol fam­ily for their un­yield­ing quest for jus­tice for the mur­der of Ahmed Ti­mol.

“In­deed, the Ti­mol fam­ily bowed their heads and ploughed stead­fastly through what then seemed to be a moun­tain of im­pos­si­bil­i­ties,” the foun­da­tion said.

They said the rul­ing by Judge Billy Mothle was his­toric, con­clud­ing that Ti­mol, did not com­mit sui­cide but was mur­dered by apartheid po­lice in Jo­han­nes­burg in 1971.

“But to­day their con­vic­tions have been con­firmed and, fi­nally, the truth around the cir­cum­stances of Ti­mol’s death has been un­cov­ered.

“Sig­nif­i­cantly tak­ing place in this 40th anniversary year of Steve Biko’s death in de­ten­tion, this judg­ment is a vic­tory, not only for the Ti­mol fam­ily, but for the en­tire na­tion.

“It was quite shock­ing to hear the de­tails sur­round­ing the bru­tal tor­ture and killing of Ahmed Ti­mol dur­ing the in­quest.

“This judge­ment brings clo­sure to the Ti­mol fam­ily, re­news con­fi­dence in the rule of law and arouses hope for jus­tice for many other anti-apartheid ac­tivists who died un­der mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances in po­lice cus­tody.

“Ahmed Ti­mol rep­re­sents a cat­e­gory of many other peo­ple who went through a sim­i­lar hor­ren­dous ex­pe­ri­ence and died in cus­tody un­der state se­cu­rity laws.”

Ex­ec­u­tive trustee of the Steve Biko Foun­da­tion, Nkosi­nathi Biko, who is Biko’s son, said: “Our con­sti­tu­tion guar­an­tees in the ex­treme only two rights: the right to life and the right to hu­man dig­nity.

“And it asks it­self the ex­tent to which these should be pro­tected. And the re­sponse it gives is that they are in­vi­o­lable.

“Many years ago, Ahmed Ti­mol’s hu­man dig­nity and life were vi­o­lated. This find­ing is im­por­tant in that it be­gins a process to re­store Ti­mol’s dig­nity, and we are grate­ful to the Ti­mol fam­ily for mov­ing the na­tion to this stage.”

Pic­ture: Phando Jikelo/ANA

RE­MEM­BERED: An art in­stal­la­tion of Strug­gle hero Ash­ley Kriel in a hall named in his hon­our at Com­mu­nity House in Salt River where rel­a­tives and com­rades gath­ered for the an­nual Ash­ley Kriel Lec­ture by Je­nine van Rooy on the 30th anniversary of his killing.

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