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Inventory for AK3388 
Collection Index:TIMOL, Ahmed Inquest, records, 1971-1972
Collection Name:TIMOL, Ahmed Inquest, records, 1971-1972
AK3388 Ahmed Timol Inquest, records, 1971-1972 
  
 Copyright 2015, Historical Papers Research Archive, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa 
  
  
 Digital collection 
  
 The Inquest records in this collection were donated by Advocate M.A. Loonat to the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, who subsequently made the collection available to Historical Papers for digitisation. The original records are held at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, Johannesburg. 
 Please note: A substantial part of the hearings, being pages 1-652, are missing. 
  
  
 BACKGROUND 
  
 Ahmed Timol, a teacher from Roodepoort, was a student activist and later became a member of the South African Communist Party. He went to London in 1967, where he took up a teaching post, supporting his family in South Africa. He also met with former comrades and friends from the Communist Party and the ANC who selected Ahmed Timol to attend the International Lenin School in Moscow from February to October 1969. Back in London, and before leaving to go back to South Africa, he received training in underground political work. He returned to South Africa in February 1970, resuming his teaching post in Roodepoort. 
 Ahmed Timol was arrested at a roadblock in October 1971, together with Salim Essop, and subsequently taken to the John Vorster Square police station. He was severly tortured by the security police and died in police custody on the 27 October 1971, by falling from the 10th floor to his death. 
 An Inquest was opened on 1 December 1971 at the Johannesburg Magistrate by J.J.L. de Villiers, with D.W. Rothwell and A.L.T. Beukes as Public Prosecutors, and Advocate I.A. Maisels QC and Advocate G. Bizos, and instructing attorneys M.S.H. Cachalia and M.A. Loonat presenting the Timol family. The hearing had to be adjourned due to Advocate Maisels request to access documents in the case. After lengthy interventions hearings were resumed in April 1972. The post mortem was carried out by the pathologist Dr Nicolaas Schepers, assisted by Dr J. Gluckman at the request of the Timol family. 
 The Magistrate announced his findings on the 22 June 1972, saying that Ahmed Timol had committed suicide whilst in police custody, and that nobody was to be blamed for his death. 
  
  
 Reference is made to our collections A2505 Dr Jonathan Gluckman; A2892 Ahmed Timol photographs; and A3205 Ahmed Timol scrapbooks. 
  
  
 COLLECTION 
  
INQUEST NO. 2361/71        
 Inquest: Act No. 58 of 1959, form J.56 to open the Inquest No. 2361/71 into the death of Ahmed Timol, dated 1 December 1971 
  
  
EXHIBITS 
  
B1 Annexure to Form J.56, listing the names of the affidavits produced by the Public Prosecutor for admission as Exhibits        
B2 Exhibits "A-L"        
 Including Affidavits by L.G. Kleyn; A.A.C. Thinnies; W.P. van Wyk; R. Bean; N. Els; J.Z. van Niekerk; J.H. Gloy; Y.A. Timol; H. Timol; M. Khan; J.J. Liebenberg 
B3 Exhibits "M-W"        
 Including Affidavits by J.A. Rodrigues; J.J. Schoon; C.P.F.J. van Rensburg; M.D. Ras; F.R. Bouwer; J.W.S. Louw; C.W.St. John Pattle; G.J. Deysel; Dr. V.D. Kemp; J.J.F. Mostert; J.P. Fourie; Y.A. Timol 
B4 Exhibits "X-AA8"        
 Including Affidavits by Dr. N.J. Schepers; P. van der Merwe and photograhs of the scene. 
 Please note: The photos of the deceased are not included, and page numbers 60-67 have been assigned to the photos of the scene. 
B5 Exhibits "BB-KK"        
 Including Affidavits by Maj. J.F.C. Fick; J.P. Le Roux; P.J. Du Preez; Genl.Maj. C.F. Buys; F.J. Fourie; and copies of a diagram of how the Communist Party operates 
B6 Exhibits "LL-OO"        
 Including Affidavits by C.J. Dirker and copies of an 'Inkululeko' pamphlet 
B7 Exhibits "PP1-11"        
 Letters by Timol 
B8 Exhibits "QQ1-23"        
 Letters by Stephanie 
B9 Exhibits "RR1-7"        
 2 typescripts entitled 'Augmented meeting'; 'Purpose of Code systems' 
B10 Exhibits "TT-YY"        
 Including: copies of ANC pamphlets; 'Sons and daughters of South Africa' pamphlet; FRELIMO memorandum; Affidavits by P.M. Steyn; G.J. van Rensburg; G.P. van Tonder 
  
  
INVESTIGATION DIARY, 1971        
 Pages C1-6 of the Investigation Diary into the death of Ahmed Timol at the John Vorster Square police station, listing the events and names of officials who submitted affidavits, as well as other items which would become Exhibits. All entries with dates, 28 October - 3 December 1971 
  
  
EVIDENCE 
  
D1 Court resumes, 12 June 1972        
 Including handwritten Index to Record to pages which are missing from the collection. Further included pages 653-663 Discussion in Court after and referring to a joint meeting, which took place on the 24 May 1972, and which seemed to have been held around terminology used in the post mortem. 
D2 Evidence by Dr. Nicolaas J. Schepers, 12-13 June 1972        
 Including pages 664-783 
D3 Evidence by Dr. Jonathan Gluckman, 13 June 1972        
 Including pages 783-841 
D4 Evidence by Frederik J. Swart, 13 June 1972        
 Including pages 841-857 
D5 Evidence by Dr. Jonathan Gluckman, continued, 13 June 1972        
 Including pages 857-884 
D6 Evidence by Dr. Jonathan Gluckman, continued, 14 June 1972        
 Including pages 885-968 
D7 Evidence by Prof H. Van Praag Koch, 14 June 1972        
 Senior State Pathologist. Including pages 968-1010 
D8 Evidence by Prof H. Van Praag Koch, continued, 15 June 1972        
 Senior State Pathologist. Pages 1011-1076. Included also a statement read by Abdul Ahmed Essop and discussion 
D9 Judgement, 22 June 1972        
 Pages 1077-1157. Included also discussion with Mr Hare, who appeared for the family. 
  
  
PUBLICATIONS RELATING TO THE AHMED TIMOL INQUEST, 1971-1972 
 Please note: This section has not been digitised. The original documents are available at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. 
E1 A Survey of Race Relations, 6pages, 1971 
E2 S.A. Law Reports, 8 pages, May 1972 
E3 Other, 2 pages, n.d.