‘Release De Kock, Hani killers’

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boraine tutu INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS Archbishop Desmond Tutu sits beside TRC vice-chairman Alex Boraine during the last meeting of TRC commissioners in 1998. File picture: Leon Muller

Johannesburg - Former TRC deputy chairman Alex Boraine has called for the release on parole of apartheid-era assassin Eugene de Kock; as well as the murderers of former SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani, the Sunday Times reported.

“It is overdue. The parole board has failed him (De Kock),” the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's former official said in an interview with the newspaper.

“I think the killers of Hani ought to be released as well,” Boraine added.

He said that one of the reasons De Kock should be released was because he had been a “fall guy” for higher-ranked apartheid officials.

“He was bad and rotten but he was following orders and a great number of people got off scot-free. He has served his time.”

Boraine said he also believed De Kock's release could assist with “reconciliation”.

On July 10, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha announced that De Kock - who has spent almost two decades in prison - would have to wait another year before his application for parole was reconsidered - to allow the families of his victims to be consulted.

During apartheid, De Kock was in charge of a police death squad at Vlakplaas, outside Pretoria, which arranged and carried out the deaths of anti-apartheid activists. He was arrested in 1994 and convicted and sentenced in 1996 to two terms of life imprisonment for six murders and to a further 212 years' imprisonment on charges including conspiracy to commit murder, culpable homicide, kidnapping, assault, and fraud.

Many of his former colleagues who committed murder under his command testified in return for indemnity from prosecution.

Clive Derby-Lewis - who was convicted of conspiring to kill SA Communist Party general secretary Chris Hani by providing the gun Polish immigrant Janusz Walus used to kill him in the driveway of his home in Boksburg, on the East Rand, on April 10, 1993 Ä has spent more than 20 years behind bars.

Derby-Lewis was originally sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life imprisonment when the death penalty was abolished in 1995.

Last month the correctional services department said it would give urgent attention to Derby-Lewis's medical parole application, as he is terminally ill. - Sapa


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