Ahmed Timol’s name lives on
IT IS with immense relief that we are witnessing a new inquest being conducted into the cruel and brutal death of stalwart Ahmed Timol.
The best we can do is to honour his tireless efforts in promoting social and political justice in our land and to continue exposing the injustices that exist.
His life was spent in the service of the oppressed and exploited. During the Struggle, he stood firm. The volcanic potential of the life of this land manifested in his struggle. Timol fought a quiet revolution to secure our liberty. He was our liberator from tyranny. His impetuousness and dare-devilry, the originality of his ideas, shook the oppressor. He believed that to fight for yourself is natural, to fight for others is grand, to fight for the human race is nobler still.
He did not live to see South Africa and liberty united forever. Upon his brow, fame placed the immortal wreath, as a nation bowed and wept.
When the history of this country is written, when the final accounting is done, it is Timol’s name that will be remembered long after the names of presidents have been forgotten. It is his name that will be recalled as having helped lay the foundation for a nation to live up to its creed. He was a legend. He was a person who inspired the best in us and he is living history.
What has been written about Gandhi is certainly true for Timol. His greatness lay in what everybody could do, but doesn’t.
Great and eminent leaders have monuments in bronze and marble set up for them, but this noble teacher managed in his lifetime to become enmeshed in millions of hearts.
He established himself as a fighter of no mean calibre long before other politicians in South Africa ever thought of venturing out from their insular arenas to hesitantly grapple with racism.
He understood that our liberation can never be without the liberation of our people. It gives us a tiny thread of consolation that his memory has been preserved, immortalised, in a significant day that will always be alive. He was blessed with prodigious gifts, formidable intellect, eloquence, foresightedness, energetic audacity, confidence. He filled the room with energy and his razor-sharp intellect.
The name Ahmed Timol has acquired, for more than one generation, the feel of permanence and awe which time confers on certain historical monuments in the consistency of purpose and the unique kind of dedication which he brought to the people of South Africa.
In any objective and serious assessment of the social and political history of South Africa, Timol’s name can hardly be omitted from those whose credentials would recommend them as national heroes.
What has been written about Gandhi is true for Ahmed Timol