Justice and Correctional Services Minister Aocate Michael Masutha has granted the parole application of former Vlakplaas Commander Eugene De Kock.
Briefing the media on the parole applications of three inmates on Friday, Minister Masutha announced that he had not approved the medical parole application of Clive Derby-Lewis, who is serving a life sentence for his role in the murder of South African Communist Party (SACP) General-Secretary Chris Hani.
In 1996, De Kock was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment for the murders of Japie Kereng Maponya and the so-called Nelspruit five: Oscar Mxolisi Ntshota, Glenack Masilo Mama, Lawrence Jacey Nyelende, Khona Gabela and Tisetso Leballo.
He was sentenced to a further 212 years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit murder, culpable homicide, kidnapping, assault and fraud. He began serving his sentence at Pretoria’s C-Max prison.
In 1997, De Kock was moved to Pretoria Central prison.
His parole application was declined last year by Minister Masutha.
“In respect of Mr De Kock… in July 2014, I declined to place him on parole as at the time, the victims or their families had [not] been consulted, as required by law.
“I had directed that a further profile be resubmitted not later than 12 months in order to afford victims, the offender and other relevant structures time to participate in and finalise all outstanding processes.
“I have now reconsidered the matter and noted the various positive reports compiled by the relevant professionals and bodies. I have noted the progress he is reported to have made to improve his skills while in custody as well as the assistance Mr De Kock is said to have provided and continues to provide to the Missing Persons Task Team of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).
“I am also satisfied that comprehensive consultation with affected families has been done. My decision is therefore informed by all these important factors,” said Minister Masutha.
He stressed that parole does not reduce the sentence imposed by the court, as offenders who are placed on parole are expected to comply with set conditions and failure to comply with these may result in the offender — depending on the frequency and seriousness of the violations — having hisher parole revoked to serve the remainder of the sentence in a correctional facility.
Minister Masutha said he also made his decision to place De Kock on parole in the interests of nation building and reconciliation.
De Kock has requested that the actual date and conditions of his release not be made public.
“I have acceded to his request and plead with members of the media to respect that,” said Minister Masutha.
With regard to Derby-Lewis, the medical parole board had recommended that Derby-Lewis, who suffers from lung cancer, be released from custody on parole.
He has been denied parole twice before.
The medical parole board found that the convicted murderer has an aggressive type of cancer, which is resistant to treatment.
In denying Derby-Lewis parole, Minister Masutha said there is nothing to suggest that Derby-Lewis’s condition is such that he is rendered physically incapacitated as a result of injury, disease or illness so as to severely limit daily activity or self-care as provided for in the Act.
The Minister also cited that while perusing medical reports, he established that the name on the pathologist’s report was not that of offender Clive Derby-Lewis.
“I am also not satisfied that requirements of Section 79(1)(b) have been complied with as there is no indication on the profile as to whether the offender has shown remorse for the crimes committed,” the Minister said.
Minister Masutha said the board could not agree on whether the cancer was spreading and therefore decided that he should continue with chemotherapy to assess the effect thereof.
Hani was shot in 1993 by Janusz Walus, a member of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging. Derby-Lewis has served 21 years in jail for his role in the murder.
In the past months, Derby-Lewis was admitted at the Eugene Marais Hospital for treatment.
Minister Masutha said no decision has been made on the parole of Ferdi Barnard.
Barnard was found guilty of having committed serious crimes, including the murder of Wits anthropologist Dr David Webster.
Barnard was sentenced to two terms of life and 63 years imprisonment. The murder was committed while Barnard was on parole for a previous murder.
The Minister said he could only make a decision once he had received the recommendation of the National Council for Correctional Services (NCCS) and the profile of Barnard.
The NCCS has requested more time to consider the application.
“Under the circumstances, no decision has been made on Mr Barnard’s parole application,” the Minister said. – SAnews.gov.za
Source : SAnews.gov.za