Who was Neil Aggett?

A fresh investigation into the death of anti-apartheid activist Neil Aggett is underway at the Johannesburg High Court.

This after Justice Minister Ronald Lamola ordered the inquest be reopened.

RELATED: Neil Aggett's sister disturbed by testimonies about his torture

Aggett, a doctor and trade unionist born on 6 October 1953, died in 1982 in police custody under mysterious circumstances and his death was ruled as a suicide.

Who was Neil Aggett?

Eusebius McKaiser chats to former Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) commissioner Yasmin Sooka, academic Beverley Naidoo and Ahmed Timol's nephew Imtiaz Cajee.

Niel was born in Kenya into a family of colonial settlers in 1953. He followed his older brother who was sent to school in Grahamstown. It was when his brother went to Kuruman that Neil was struck by the difference between how white people lived and how black people lived.

Beverley Naidoo, Academic

Sooka says when one finds white activists such as Aggett was, one finds an indomitable spirit that cannot be taken down by the apartheid state.

What we need to remember is that we were dealing with state-sponsored terrorism and crimes against humanity. And the new government had an obligation to ensure that those that committed those crimes should have been held accountable.

Yasmin Sooka, Former commissioner - TRC

Cajee says it is a painful reality that many families of apartheid-era activists do not have inquests about them.

Listen below to the frank conversation of who Niel Aggett was and why this new inquest was reopened:


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