Minister reviews parole for apartheid killers

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iol nws june 14 Michael Masutha GCIS Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Advocate Michael Masutha.

Pretoria - Justice and Correctional Services minister Michael Masutha has been interviewing victims affected by the possible release on parole of former police “death squad” commander Eugene de Kock, as well as of Chris Hani’s murderers, Clive Derby-Lewis and Janusz Walus.

On Friday department spokesman Manelisi Wolela told Weekend Argus that Masutha had confirmed that the court order and the positive recommendations on the three were on his desk.

This comes after the North Gauteng High Court ordered, in an application by De Kock, that the minister finalise the issue.

“He undertook to consult victims and other affected parties before applying his mind and making a decision.

“At this stage there will be no further updates until the minister announces how his pronouncements on consultations will be carried out,” said Wolela.

Meanwhile, this week Hani’s widow Limpho Hani spoke out about the release of her husband’s killers.

The Star reported that she said on Talk Radio 702: “While I appreciate the fact that the new minister of Justice wants to hit the ground running, I would like him to be aware that there are laws in this country. The parole application of Mr Derby-Lewis is not a new thing. It didn’t come to his desk two weeks ago.”

She reportedly added: “The minister of Justice and Correctional Services has failed me as a victim. All I am saying is that I would appreciate it if the minister followed the law, because the constitution says the law applies to all South Africans. I have not seen a part where it says the law exempts the new minister.”

Hani was killed in 1993 when Walus shot him with a weapon supplied by Derby-Lewis.

Last month Weekend Argus reported that the minister met officials, including from the National Council of Correctional Services (NCCS), to deliberate the matter in Pretoria.

It is understood that the NCCS recommended last year that the three men be released on parole.

De Kock’s lawyer Julian Knight has said previously that he would return to court if a decision was not made, and ask the court to make a decision for the minister. - Pretoria News Weekend



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