Reopen inquest into Imam Haron's death - foundation pleads with justice minister

Pressure is mounting for Justice Minister Ronald Lamola to re-open an inquest into the death of anti-apartheid icon Imam Abdullah Haron.

Haron was buried 50 years ago at his gravesite in Stegman Road, Claremont, which has now been declared a heritage site.

The Imam Haron Foundation wants answers to what happened the day he was killed while in police custody in 1969.

Cape Times editor Aneez Salie echoes these sentiments in an opinion piece published on Monday.

The foundation has been working with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Hawks and lawyers representing the Haron family to get to the bottom of the truth.

The foundation's co-ordinator Cassiem Khan says they have provided NPA boss Shamila Batohi with a dossier on the case.

Khan says it is now up to the prosecutions boss to approach Lamola to have the matter re-opened.

Haron's death is among about 300 cases that were referred for further investigation and possible prosecution to the NPA by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which carried out its hearings between 1995 and 1999.

The murders of Dr Neil Aggett, Ahmed Timol and Nokuthula Simelane are the first three cases to be re-opened that involved the apparent murder of detainees by the former security branch.

Khan says the Justice Ministry has dismally failed to reopen the hundreds of cases that were referred by the TRC, stating a lack of political will.

The NPA has been sitting on these things for the last 20 odd years. We have had the resources, there's just no political will.

Cassiem Khan, National co-ordinator - Imam Haron Foundation

We are hoping that the National Director of Public Prosecutions now has sights on our dossier that we have put togther.

Cassiem Khan, National co-ordinator - Imam Haron Foundation

We hope that NDPP Shamila Batohi will very soon present insights to Justice Minster Ronald Lamola so he can announce that the matter be re-opened.

Cassiem Khan, National co-ordinator - Imam Haron Foundation

The matter for Ahmed Timol didn't also come easily. It required an extensive amount of lobbying in the background.

Cassiem Khan, National co-ordinator - Imam Haron Foundation

Listen to the conversation on Afternoon Drive with John Maytham:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Reopen inquest into Imam Haron's death - foundation pleads with justice minister


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