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Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola Approves Inquest on Imam Haron

31 May 2022

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola has formally requested Judge President of the Western Cape Division of the High Court to designate a judge to re-open the inquest in relation to the death in detention of anti-apartheid activists, Mr Abudllah Haron.

Mr Iman Haron died whilst in police detention on 27 September 1969 after being held incommunicado for 122 days. He was detained by the security branch, in terms of section 6 of the Terrorism Act and died at Caledon Square police Station, Cape Town.

The Apartheid regime held an inquest in 1970. The findings of the apartheid regime were primarily based on reports from medical experts and police witnesses.

The renewed investigation into the Apartheid Crime will consider expert reports from a state pathologist and an aeronautical engineer and trajectory expert will provide a new perspective into the probable cause of the death of Imam Haron.

In the matter of Timol v the Magistrate of Johannesburg 1972 our courts have said

An inquest must be so thorough that the public and interested parties are satisfied that there has been a full investigation into the circumstances of the death.

The Minister’s decision in terms of Section 17 A of the Inquest Act No. 58 of 1959 follows an application by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for the reopening of the inquests, to help it determine whether the original court finding that Haron died as a result of falling down the stairs.

“We must do all we can to ensure that justice prevails no matter how long it takes,” said Ronald Lamola

Issued by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services

Mr Chrispin Phiri
Spokesperson: Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services
081 781 2261