Ti­mol: new time of death mooted

The Star Early Edition - - POLITICS - ZELDA VENTER

WAS the coun­try fooled for 46 years into be­liev­ing Ahmed Ti­mol fell to his death in the late af­ter­noon?

This was the ques­tion on every­one’s lips yes­ter­day on the 14th day of the in­quest into his death.

Star­tling new ev­i­dence emerged in the Pretoria High Court when a wit­ness was adamant that Ti­mol had plunged to his death around mid-morn­ing and not late af­ter­noon.

Busi­ness­man Muham­mad Ali Thokan told Judge Billy Mothle he was at the petrol sta­tion across the road from John Vorster Square on the morn­ing of Septem­ber 27, 1971.

Thokan said he was lock­ing his fuel cap when he sud­denly heard a thump. He could not see any­thing, but a pedes­trian who had walked down the street shouted that some­one had fallen from the top of John Vorster Square.

Thokan said he tried to go and see if he could as­sist but halfway across the road, three plain-clothed po­lice­men told him to “f*** off”.

He left be­fore he saw the body. He did not at the time know it was Ti­mol, but he later read about the in­ci­dent in the news­pa­pers.

Thokan was grilled about the time of day he was at the garage, when he heard the thump. He was adamant that it was mid-morn­ing, al­though he did not know the ex­act time.

For the past 46 years, the po­lice and even the doc­tor who pro­nounced Ti­mol dead, put the time of death at shortly be­fore 4pm.

Asked how he was so sure this in­ci­dent hap­pened in the morn­ing, Thokan said he was on his way to a gov­ern­ment depart­ment in Pretoria to ob­tain a trad­ing li­cence and re­mem­bered the oc­ca­sion well.

In­di­ans were not at the time al­lowed to trade with­out a li­cence, and the day he went to ap­ply for his was a mem­o­rable one, he said.

Asked why he had never re­vealed this be­fore, Thokan said up to now, he had no idea that the time of death was in dis­pute.

PIC­TURE: JAC­QUES NAUDÉ

IN SOL­I­DAR­ITY: Ron­nie Kas­rils, left, with Ahmed Ti­mol’s younger brother Mo­hammed Ti­mol and Muham­mad Ali Thokan dur­ing the in­quest into the death of Ahmed in the high court in Pretoria.

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