News Brief

This South African Apartheid Officer is Going on Trial for Murder

Former Apartheid police officer Joao Rodrigues will go on trial for the murder of anti-Apartheid struggle hero, Ahmed Timol.

Ahmed Timol was an anti-Apartheid activist whose death has remained shrouded in controversy for decades. An inquest into his death was launched in 2017 and Apartheid police officer, Joao Rodrigues, was implicated in Timol's murder.

Although the now 80-year-old Rodrigues applied for a permanent stay of prosecution because of his age, it was denied by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and he will now go on trial according to TimesLIVE.

Timol had affiliations with the South African Communist Party (SACP) and was arrested at a roadblock in 1971 because of this affiliation by the Apartheid government. While in police detention, he was allegedly murdered. However, the government's official report claimed that he had committed suicide by jumping from the window of the tenth floor of the police station where he was being detained.

Read more about Timol here.

A well-known poem by South African writer, Chris van Wyk, entitled In Detention spoke about Timol's "suicide" in a satirical manner to emphasize the sheer absurdity of the Apartheid government's claims that he willingly jumped to his death. He writes:

"He slipped on a piece of soap while washing
He fell from the ninth floor
He hanged himself while washing
He slipped from the ninth floor
He hung from the ninth floor"

Finally, Timol's family will be able to obtain the justice that he himself was not afforded all those years ago. The judgement and impending trial has sparked conversation and set a new precedence for former Apartheid officers (still living) who were also involved in a myriad of crimes for which they were never prosecuted.

Photo: La Fédération de la Haute Couture

Lukhanyo Mdingi on Making his Paris Fashion Week Debut

We talked to the South African designer who, after co-winning the LMVH Prize last year, showcased his Bodyland Autumn/Winter 22-23 collection in Paris earlier this month.

In 2015, South African designer Lukhanyo Mdingi founded his eponymous label. Inspired by his mother and grandmother who raised him, Mdingi has created a formidable brand that is centered on building a bridge between heritage and timeless fashion pieces. Since the brand’s inception, Mdingi has made great strides in fashion, from his NYFW debut in 2019 to being crowned a joint winner of the 2021 LVMH Karl Lagerfeld Prize.

This year, Mdingi took his vision of Africa to France’s fashion capital, Paris, where he made his Bodyland Autumn/Winter 22-23 debut for the Paris Fashion Week Menswear Collection. Being the first designer on the program schedule to present, Mdingi showcased a collection that spoke of the relationship he shares with himself and the artisans he collaborates with. For the past two years, Mdingi has been working to source his woven textiles and knitwear from crafts communities in Burkina Faso, Somalia, and the Eastern Cape, and the collection featured textural and sartorial nuances paying homage to his being a young Black creative.

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