The family of anti-apartheid activist Dr Neil Aggett says it’s disgraceful that they’ve had to wait for 26 years after democracy before the reopening of an inquest into his death.

Aggett was found hanging in his cell at the then John Vorster Square Police Station in Johannesburg on 5 February 1982.

He was the only white anti-apartheid activist to die in detention.

The hearing got under way in the High Court in Johannesburg on Monday morning.

An inquest following Neil Aggett’s death under the apartheid regime had found no one was to blame for his death.

However, family lawyer Howard Varney argues there was an elaborate cover-up by the apartheid security police of how Aggett actually died.

Varney says he’ll demonstrate that the security police officers were responsible for his death.

During his opening remarks, the lawyer for the implicated persons says they’re not here to justify the torture of people and human rights abuses, and are willing to help the inquest to find the truth.