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An anti-apartheid activist who died in police custody 46 years ago did not commit suicide but was murdered by officers, a South African court said yesterday in a historic ruling for campaigners.
The court called for an officer involved in covering up the circumstances of the 1971 death to be investigated as an accessory to murder.
The packed courtroom in Pretoria burst into applause after the judge delivered a damning indictment of how police treated those who opposed white-minority rule.
Ahmed Timol, a 29-year-old campaigner against apartheid, was arrested in Johannesburg in October 1971.
After five days in detention, he died after plummeting from the city’s police headquarters.
Officers from the feared security branch that held Timol said at the time that he took his own life – a verdict endorsed by an inquest in 1972.
But his family fought the ruling for …
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