Opening arguments to be heard in reopened inquest into Hoosen Haffejee’s death

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The death of an anti-apartheid activist in police detention is due to come under renewed scrutiny in the High Court in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday.

Judge Zaba Nkosi is due to hear opening arguments in the reopened inquest into the death of Hoosen Haffejee at the age of 26.

This comes 44 years after Haffejee’s body was found hanging in his Brighton Beach police cell in Durban in 1977.

The Security Branch had accused him of trying to overthrow the State.

Despite numerous injuries on Haffejee’s body, the initial inquest found that it was mere speculation that he was tortured.

Lawyer Anwar Suleman Jessop says it is important to document the history of the country as the family looks for answers.

“But like I always emphasise, and I think the family also…the greater good needs to come out of this. And when I say greater good, I mean all the people of our country need to understand it is people of all walks of life – no matter what race you are, no matter which background you came from – there were people who fought for the liberation that we have in this country today. And I think it’s important that we get to the truth so that we can give recognition to these people. It’s absolutely important for the history of our country.”

Haffejee’s family says they have faith that justice will prevail, even 44 years after his death.

In the report below, an inquest into Haffejee’s death reopened: