Following the judgement in the North Gauteng High Court, which ruled Thursday that anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Timol, was murdered while in detention at John Vorster Square 46 years ago, Awqaf South Africa have announced a R100, 000 endowment fund in his name.
Timol, 29, was arrested in Johannesburg in October 1971 – and after five days of torture in detention – died after being pushed from the 10th floor of the police station. Officers at the time said he took his own life. A 1972 inquest ruled Timol’s death was suicide.
The landmark case has renewed memories of apartheid-era police brutality uncovered by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1998. It has also given hope to families who lost loved ones in circumstances similar to the Timol family.
In announcing the launch of the Awqaf South Africa Ahmed Timol Endowment Fund, Awqaf SA Chairman, Haroon Kalla, said it was a fitting tribute to a struggle hero, “a fearless young man who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that others could bask in the light of constitutional freedom.”
Kalla said that beneficiaries of the endowment fund would be young people involved in political and developmental studies.
“We feel that this would be the best way to honour the memory of Ahmed Timol, and we are excited to make this announcement at such an important juncture. In South Africa, we cannot make progress without institutional memory and development. We feel forward- looking projects such as the Ahmed Timol Endowment Fund can contribute in a very small way to this.
“We also pay tribute to all of those who fell during the anti-apartheid struggle, and that all the families affected enjoy similar closure to that of the Timol family, albeit 46 years down the line.”
Awqaf South Africa, a Muslim NGO founded in 2000, is an independent community-based and owned trust. It is dedicated to the establishment of the Islamic institution of waqf, an endowment held in perpetuity, which spends only the income generated from investments to fund a variety of community development projects and programmes.
Awqaf South Africa has been involved in projects such as youth leadership training, maths and science literacy, the building of water wells, green mosques, publishing, cataract operations, food gardens, hospital equipment and the construction of community centres.
The community can contribute to the endowment fund by making deposits into Awqaf SA, Nedbank Account #: 1469-053934, Code: 198765