Station Strangler set for release: Plans afoot to parole convicted Cape Town child killer and let him out on July 20

Norman Afzal Simons, left, with police shortly after his arrest in 1994. Picture: Leon Muller/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Norman Afzal Simons, left, with police shortly after his arrest in 1994. Picture: Leon Muller/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Published Jul 10, 2023


In just 10 days, the notorious Station Strangler, Norman “Afzal” Simons, is set to be released in Cape Town after spending nearly three decades behind bars.

The “Daily Voice” exclusively revealed that meetings were called with Mitchells Plain cops and several community organisations by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) last week to discuss the details of his release.

According to a “Daily Voice” source, it was revealed that Simons had been granted parole and would be released on July 20.

“They said they are consulting because he has been granted parole and will be released on July 20. They have apparently already consulted with the victim’s family and will now speak to the other families,” the insider explains.

Simons was convicted in 1995 of the kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Elroy van Rooyen.

Norman Afzal Simons is led to court. Picture: Leon Muller/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

He had been suspected of being a serial killer after the bodies of 22 boys were found in shallow graves in Mitchells Plain between 1986 and 1994. However, he was only ever convicted for Elroy’s murder.

Simons was sentenced to 25 years for murder and 10 years for kidnapping.

However, his sentence was increased to life imprisonment after a failed appeal bid.

He has already served 28 years behind bars.

Last year, SA Human Rights Commissioner Chris Nissen called for Simons to be released, saying he had done his time.

SAHRC’s Chris Nissen says Simons has paid for his crime. Picture: African News Agency (ANA)

Nissen told the “Weekend Argus”: “I was present when the bodies were discovered, I took the late former president Nelson Mandela to the house of the Samaai family. I am of the opinion that the law has already taken its course.

“(Simons) has paid for his mistakes, whether he did one or others, leave it in God’s hands. We do not condone any rape or murder but we must not be hypocrites, let us be consistent,” he said.

DCS spokesperson Candice van Reenen said the department will not be commenting on Simons’ release.

“We are interacting with the victims and community and will therefore not make any comment on the matter at this stage,” she added.

Meanwhile, the “Daily Voice” source also revealed that Simons will not be living in Mitchells Plain after his release.

The first photograph of Norman “Afzal” Simons since 1995. Picture: Jack Lestrade

“He will not come back to Mitchells Plain, he will be living in Parow with his family,” the insider adds.

However, Parow ward councillor Franchesca Walker said she had not been informed of his impending release.

“It is shocking that as the political head, I had not been informed of anything. I will be engaging with our station commander and our community police forum as well as other community structures to hear if they were informed, because the Parow community has the right to know and should be consulted,” she added.

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