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Finally, proper inquest 53 years after imam tortured to death


Finally, proper inquest 53 years after imam tortured to death

Abdullah Haron died after 123 days’ solitary confinement and torture, but apartheid officials said he fell down stairs

David Forbes

Fifty-three years after cleric Imam Abdullah Haron died at the hands of security police in Cape Town’s Maitland police station on September 27 1969, a proper inquest is finally on the way.

The department of justice announced on Tuesday it had asked judge president of the Western Cape high court John Hlophe to designate a judge to reopen Haron’s March 1970 inquest which, like all apartheid-era inquests into any death in detention, found a “natural” cause of death and exonerated all involved.

In Haron’s case, magistrate JSP Kuhn found that an alleged fall down a flight of less than a dozen stairs was the primary cause of the imam’s death — a lack of blood flow to his heart. The judgment found that Haron died of “myocardial ischemia ... due to, in part, trauma superimposed on a severe narrowing of a coronary artery”...

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