When: 20 January 2020, at 10.00 a.m.
Where: Court GD, South Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg
Judge Makhume will preside over the re-opened inquest, which has been scheduled to run until the 28th of February 2020.
Dr Neil Aggett was a medical doctor and trade union organiser who died whilst in police detention after he was arrested by the Security Branch (SB) of the South African Policy (SAP) on 27 November 1981. He was detained at the 10th floor of the notorious John Vorster Square, Johannesburg where a team of policemen led by Lieutenant Stephan Whitehead and Major Arthur Cronwright tortured him by, amongst others, subjecting him to electric shocks. After 70 days in detention Dr Aggett was found dead in his cell on 5 February 1982. The first inquest was held in 1982 and was presided over by Magistrate Pieter Kotze. Despite clear evidence showing that Aggett had been tortured while in detention, his death was ruled as suicide by the magistrate.
The Foundation for Human Rights has since its inception supported victims of political crimes perpetrated during the apartheid period. Addressing impunity and building accountability has thus been a key element of the work of the Foundation. The Foundation for Human Rights assisted the family of Dr Neil Aggett with presentations to the Minister of Justice for the re-opening of the Neil Aggett inquest as a result of new evidence unearthed during our investigations into his alleged induced suicide as a result of prolonged questioning and torture.
The Foundation for Human Rights stands with the victims of the apartheid-era crimes and supports the families in their quest for justice. We will soon be launching our website on the "Unfinished Business of the TRC", which will be an invaluable source of information on the cases but also on the families' tireless and courageous fight for truth, justice and closure.
For media queries kindly contact Mr Ahmed Mayet, Participatory Democracy Manager at the Foundation for Human Rights: