JOHANNESBURG – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said Monday’s judgment in the Ahmed Timol matter would set the tone for similar apartheid-era cases.
The Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg dismissed Timol murder accused Joao Rodriguez’s application not to face charges for the death of Timol in 1971.
The ruling comes after the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria overturned the result of the original inquest which found that Timol’s death was a suicide.
NPA spokesperson Phindi Louw Mjonondwane said the ruling showed that people could not avoid prosecution on the basis of age or the number of years since the crime happened.
She said the verdict affirmed the rule of law.
“The judge ruled that it is both in the interest of justice and that of society that the people who are alleged to have perpetrated violent crimes against humanity must be brought to book,” she said.
Rodrigues’ legal team told the NPA that it would study the ruling, but if the lawyers do not appeal the judgment Rodrigues will stand trial next month.