The charging of Rodrigues follows last year’s reopening of the inquest into Timol’s death. He fell from the 10th floor of the then John Vorster Square police station in Johannesburg.
The original inquest in 1972 concluded that Timol had committed suicide and that no person alive was responsible for his death.
However‚ his family obtained further evidence and approached the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for the inquest to be reopened.
In the reopened inquest‚ Judge Billy Mothle found that Timol’s death was caused by him being pushed from the 10th floor of the building.
Mothle said Rodrigues‚ according to his own version‚ had participated in a cover-up to conceal the crime of murder as an accessory after the fact. Mothle said Rodrigues went on to commit perjury by presenting contradictory evidence before the 1972 and 2017 inquests.
“He should accordingly be investigated with a view to his prosecution‚” Judge Mothle said.
Timol was one of 73 activists who died in police custody between 1963 and 1990. Police at the time ascribed all the deaths to suicide or accidents. Timol’s inquest was the first of these cases to be re-opened by the state.