A former security branch police officer Mohan Gopal is expected to testify on Monday in the inquest into the death of struggle activist Doctor Hoosen Haffejee in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg.
Haffejee, who was a member of the African National Congress (ANC) military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe, died in police detention in Durban in 1977.
The initial inquest ruled that he had hanged himself in a cell. However, the reopened inquest has heard evidence from two medical experts that Haffejee died from strangulation.
Dr Hoosen Haffejee inquest reopens in the Pietermaritzburg High Court:
He also had numerous injuries all over his body. Mohan Gopal is the only surviving security police officer who was present from the time of Haffejee’s arrest until he was booked into a cell that night.
Early this month, Haffejee’s former girlfriend Madhi Benjamin was grilled in the Pietermaritzburg High Court, about the role she played in the events leading to his arrest and death in police custody in 1977.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court reopened the inquest into Haffejee’s death after an inquest in 1978 ruled that he hanged himself in a police cell.
Benjamin admitted that she was an informer for the security police even before she met Haffejee.
The Pietermaritzburg High Court has heard that Benjamin was a nurse at Durban’s King George the Fifth Hospital when Dr. Haffejee started working there as a dentist in 1977.
When he started working at the hospital, Benjamin told the court that Haffejee organised meetings in his flat to recruit young people for the struggle.
Benjamin testified that she did not love Haffejee and that she started a relationship with him to get more information about his political activities.