Frank Dutton, Detective Convicted of Racism, Dies at 72

Mr. Dutton attended Boys’ Town, a school for troubled youth, in Magaliesburg, a western suburb of Johannesburg, and joined the South African national police force in 1966. After a year of school police college in Pretoria, he was assigned to the province of Natal (today known as KwaZulu Natal).

Early on, he earned a reputation as a diligent cop who wasn’t afraid to confront his shrewd, self-defeating leadership. He also stood out for his willingness to cooperate with Black officers, even in the face of obvious discrimination: When he and Magadla went out of town on duty, they often slept in prison cells, for lack of hotels. suitable for both.

He then applied his investigative skills internationally. When Judge Goldstone was put in charge of the United Nations investigation into war crimes in the former Yugoslavia in the late 1990s, he brought Mr Dutton with him – first, to inspect mass graves in the former Yugoslavia. Bosnia, then the principal investigator for the entire area.

After leaving the police service in 2003, Mr. Dutton worked as a consultant for the United Nations, a job that took him around the world, investigating sexual abuse in the Democratic Republic of Congo, human rights abuses in East Timor and corrupt police in the Seychelles.

In the 2010s, he joined Mr. Varney and a small team of lawyers, human rights activists and other investigators to reopen cold cases of the apartheid era in which activists Acting dead in police custody, their deaths officially lead to suicides.

The first case involved Ahmed Timol, a communist and ANC member who died in 1971 after falling from the height of the Johannesburg main police station. A judge said he committed suicide, despite evidence that he was tortured. Thanks to Mr Dutton’s work, the case was reopened and in 2017 another judge ruled it was a police homicide.

The following year, Mr. Dutton returned to investigate government corruption under former President Jacob Zuma as a member of the so-called Zondo Commission. When he died, he was preparing to lead an investigation into the committee’s findings.

He is also awaiting a verdict in another high-profile racism-era cold case, involving the alleged suicide of Neil Aggetta doctor and labor activist, was detained by police in 1982. His death ignited the anti-apartheid movement and helped spark a wave of struggle in the 1980s. A ruling is expected in the coming weeks. Frank Dutton, Detective Convicted of Racism, Dies at 72

Fry Electronics Team

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