Correctional Services to challenge Van Wyk court order

The Department of Correctional Services will challenge a court order by the North Gauteng High Court on 26 November 2012 ordering that Mr. Cornelius Johannes Van Wyk (41) is placed under Day Parole as from the 1st of January 2013.

The department is studying the court order, with the view to challenge the decision.

Van Wyk murdered three people in October 1991 in Makhado, when he was 20 years-old and part of the ultra-right-wing National Socialist Partisans. He and an accomplice, now dead, shot and slit the throats of domestic worker Makwarela Dobani, her husband Wilson and householder Maria Roux while robbing them of guns.

On 5 September 1994, he was convicted and sentenced to three life terms on eleven counts including three counts of murder, two counts of unlawful possession of firearms, theft of a motor vehicle, attempted robbery with aggravating circumstances, two counts of housebreaking with intent to steal and robbery.

The National Council on Correctional Services (NCCS), chaired by Judge Siraj Desai, has considered the case of Van Wyk. The NCCS considers parole applications for lifers on a regular basis for recommendation to the Minister, and their last sitting for 2012 was from 16 October to 23 November 2012. Upon receipt of advice and recommendations from the NCCS, the Minister exercises due consideration.

The Department of Correctional Services is mandated by law to manage, and maintain, a system of parole applicable to sentenced offenders. Parole is not a right, and is always subject to specific conditions which an offender must comply with. The progressive parole system that is in place today in South Africa is based on international best practice.

It allows for independent decision-making by Correctional Supervision and Parole Boards, and in certain cases allows for the involvement of other role-players including representatives of the South African Police, the Department of Justice and even victims. In the case of lifers, the Minister of Correctional Services takes the final decision to grant parole or not.

Chief Deputy Commissioner James Smalberger
Cell: 082 464 4696