Someone To Blame
Catch this documentary Sunday at 19:30
Someone to Blame is a 54 minute documentary on the historic precedent setting inquest into the death of Ahmed Timol, the 29 year old Roodepoort school teacher and political activist who was said to have committed suicide by jumping out of the 10th floor of the former John Vorster Square Police Station (now Johannesburg Police Station) on the 27th of October 1971.
The original sham of an inquest held on the 22nd of June 1972 returned a verdict that there was no living person responsible for his death despite overwhelming evidence of gruesome torture. The Roodepoort teachers loved ones did not believe Timol, the 22nd person to die in police custody, had jumped from the 10th floor of John Vorster Square while being interrogated by Security Police. They believed he was either tortured to death and then thrown from the window or pushed.
Imtiaz Ahmed Cajee, Ahmed Timol’s nephew made it his personal quest to find those responsible for his beloved uncles death and was the main driving force behind getting the inquest re-opened said “Our immediate priority is to have the apartheid inquest finding of ‘No-body to Blame’ reversed”.
A private investigation on behalf of the Timol family with the assistance of the Foundation of Human Rights (FHR) presented evidence to the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) in January 2016, the Timol family argued that the apartheid era Magistrate De Villiers had erred in his findings and provided compelling evidence to the NPA necessitating the re-opening of the inquest in the interest of justice.
45 years later over a period of 3 months from June to August spanning 20 days in both the Johannesburg High Court and the South Gauteng High Court in Pretoria riveting testimony was heard of how former political detainees were tortured, therefore proving conclusively that Ahmed Timol was tortured. Expert witnesses steadily built up a case to expose the weaknesses of the first inquest. Security Police including the last person to be with Ahmed Timol when he ‘jumped’ are found, will they talk or remain silent? The Timol family are finally hoping to get answers.
Playing out to a riveted national audience the inquest gripped the nation. Judge Billy Mothle in his opening remarks stated “There is no doubt in my mind that during these proceedings we, as South Africans are about to enter a door that will rekindle painful memories. A door that invites us to embark on a journey which will cause all of us to confront the sordid part of our history. That door will only close, once the truth is revealed”.
The documentary features all the key role players from the inquest and brings back this historic moment in a raw and visceral style that will engage with audiences.
Someone to Blame – The Ahmed Timol Inquest is directed and produced by award winning director Enver Samuel whose first documentary on Ahmed Timol, Indians Can’t Fly won two South African Film & Television Awards.