De Kock expects answer on pardon soon

By Time of article published Mar 7, 2010

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Apartheid assassin Eugene de Kock expects an answer to his application for presidential pardon before the end of the year, Rapport newspaper reported on Sunday.

"I think Jacob Zuma has more understanding for my position because he was a warrior himself. Perhaps the Truth and Reconciliation Commission should have been managed by fellow-soldiers from both sides of the field," he said.

If his pardon application fails, he could be considered for parole in four years, the newspaper reported.

De Kock has served 13 years of a sentence of 212 years plus two life terms in prison for masterminding assassinations of suspected anti-apartheid activists.

The Constitutional Court, in a judgment at the end of February, forbade the president from granting pardons to perpetrators of political violence without first consulting victims.

De Kock said he did not want to take revenge on his former cronies. He did however think his family faced "real danger" in South Africa from the people he worked with before.

Upon his release, the erstwhile Vlakplaas commander looks forward to working after coming to grips with a changed society. "I have no idea what the world out there looks like. I can't even answer a cellphone," he said.

He did not foresee problems in adapting to the new South Africa. "I was one of the few policemen, perhaps the only one, who wasn't a racist."

There has been speculation recently that President Jacob Zuma could grant De Kock a reprieve as a political trade-off for a widely-expected pardon for his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik.

It emerged that Zuma met De Kock in April last year. - Sapa

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