Please listen to Apartheid’s police officer Paul Erasmus’s testimony in the Ahmed Timol’s inquest. Simply chilling.
Here are some Twitter posts on the inquest using an account in memory of Ahmed Timol.
About Ahmed Timol
Ahmed Timol (3 November 1941 – 27 October 1971) was a noted anti-Apartheid activist and political leader of South Africa.
He was born in Breyten, Transvaal (now Gauteng) to Haji Yusuf Ahmed Timol and Hawa Ismail Dindar. His father came to South Africa in 1918, at the age of 12, from Kholvad in Surat province of Gujarat, in western India. He was one of six children, with two sisters, Zubeida and Aysha and three brothers, Ismail, Mohammed and Haroon.
Ahmed Timol had shown interest in politics from a young age. His father, Haji Timol, was a close colleague of Yusuf Dadoo, who was leader of the Transvaal Indian Congress (TIC) and later Chairman of the South African Communist Party (SACP), and some of the other Indian leaders who succeeded in transforming the Indian Congresses into powerful, progressive, militant national liberation movements.
Timol received a scholarship from the Kholvad Madressa in Surat, to pursue a teaching course at the Johannesburg Training Institute for Indian Teachers (JTIIT), at the time the only institution of higher education for Indians in the Transvaal. For the period 1962 to 1963, he was elected Vice-Chairman of the Students Representative Council (SRC). In the same year, the SRC managed to affiliate to the National Union of South African Students (NUSAS).
In a foreword to the biography of Ahmed Timol, brutally murdered in police custody in October 1971, former president Thabo Mbeki describes the high water mark of the apartheid era, the lowest ebb in the fortunes of the oppressed and the turning tide against apartheid forces in the 1970s as follows: “He was himself the light in a darkening room… The apartheid regime had banned us earlier and had brutally set out to break and torture our scattered comrades. They believed that they had broken the back of the underground. And then they found Ahmed. Mayibuye! They performed upon his body… a danse macabre of exorcism through violence. It was their own neurosis that spoke through every blow, because in him our revolutionary spirit was made flesh and they simply could not believe it. He was and remained, even after his death, the spectre that was haunting South Africa.”
His death sparked a nationwide reaction of shock, anger and demands for an inquiry. Support for such an inquiry came from a broad spectrum of the South African population that included leaders even of the United Party (UP) and various church denominations, the militant black South African Students Association (SASO), the Coloured Labour Party (CLP) and the National Indian Congress (NIC). In Durban a packed meeting attended by people of all races called for a national day of mourning, which was observed on 10 November 1971.He is celebrated as both a revolutionary martyr and hailed a national hero of the 20th century. Today he is considered one of the greatest South African anti-Apartheid stalwarts of his time.
Timol’s life and the circumstances of his death is the subject of the 2015 documentary film “Indians Can’t Fly”, by director Enver Samuel.