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COSATU calls for the arrest of Dr Neil Aggett's killers

Statement issued by COSATU, October 5 2013

Federation says the trade unionist was driven to suicide while in detention.

Tomorrow, Sunday 6th October, would a have been the 60th birthday of Dr Neil Aggett, who was born on 6 October 1953. He was a doctor by profession, a career that would have earned him almost all the luxuries that doctors had, but he chose the unpaid job of a relentless trade unionist and freedom fighter.

On 27 November 27 in 1981, Dr Neil Aggett was detained for his role in labour movement under the Terrorism Act. He was held at Pretoria Central Prison and later transferred to John Vorster Square in Johannesburg. He died in detention on 5 February 1982, allegedly by hanging himself with a scarf. No charges were ever laid against him.

After a six-month long inquest into his death, George Bizos S.C. a lawyer who represented the Aggett family, claimed that security police, by brutal interrogation methods, had broken Aggett and destabilized his personality to such an extent that they drove him to commit suicide

It is worrying that the apartheid policeman who was instrumental in the death of comrade Neil has rebranded himself as a business counter-intelligence consultant.

We call on the justice department's priority crimes litigation unit, which is tasked with preparing cases against apartheid-era human-rights violators who did not receive amnesty, to bring them to book because induced suicide is culpable homicide or murder in South African law.

This will be the only way to bring the matter to closure and answer the many unanswered questions surrounding his death.

Statement issued by COSATU, October 5 2013

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