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Finally, proper inquest 53 years after imam tortured to death

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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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