Give other families closure too, say organisations
The ruling that anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol had been murdered by members of the security police 46 years ago has given hope to the families of hundreds of other activists who died under apartheid rule.
Timol’s family, the family of murdered struggle icon Steve Biko, veteran struggle lawyer George Bizos and human rights organisations yesterday called on government to reopen the investigation into the deaths of other anti-apartheid activists whose families are seeking closure.
The family of Matthew Mabelane, who, like Timol, died in 1977 at the age of 22 after falling out of a tenth-storey window at John Vorster Square, now also wants the truth about his death.
Matthew’s cousin, Sandton attorney Rapulane Mabelane, said they were getting official documents to approach the National Prosecuting Authority to reopen the probe into Matthew’s death. Matthew was a student leader of the ANC when he was arrested.
Matthew’s brother, Lasch Mabelane, accused the security police of acting in an evil manner towards his brother, telling blatant lies about his fall and burying evidence. He said the family needed closure.
Timol’s nephew, Imtiaz Cajee, said Ahmed, Babla Saloojee, Imam Haroon and Steve Biko were among at least 73 political detainees who died at the hands of the police between 1963 and 1990 with no one ever being held responsible for their deaths.
Timol’s brother Mohammed said the judgment had restored his brother’s dignity.
Struggle icon Steve Biko’s son Nkosinathi said human rights organisations should take the matter further for other families involved.