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De Kock gets a yes, Derby-Lewis a no

Former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock, dubbed "Prime Evil" by the media, will be released on parole, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said. File photo: Denis Farrell

Former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock, dubbed "Prime Evil" by the media, will be released on parole, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said. File photo: Denis Farrell

Published Jan 30, 2015

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Johannesburg - Former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock, dubbed “Prime Evil” by the media, will be released on parole, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said on Friday.

"In the interest of... nation building, I have placed Mr De Kock on parole," said Masutha.

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 The time and date of his release will not be made public.

However, Clive Derby-Lewis, convicted for the murder of SACP leader Chris Hani, was denied medical parole on Friday.

This followed earlier reports that the medical parole board had recommended that Derby-Lewis, who suffers from lung cancer, be released from custody.

But Masutha said he suffered from Stage 3 lung cancer; and inmates only qualified for medical parole if they suffered from Stage 4 cancer.

 There is nothing to suggest that Mr Derby-Lewis's condition is such that he is rendered physically incapacitated... so as to severely limit daily activity."

A recommendation that he be released on medical parole is not approved, said Masutha.

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The minister also bemoaned Derby-Lewis's conduct in hospital, where he used another person's name instead of his own.

Masutha said he was not convinced that Derby-Lewis had shown real remorse for his actions.

Derby-Lewis is currently serving a life sentence for his role in the assassination of the SA Communist Party leader, in April 1993, and has repeatedly been denied parole.

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Hani's murder sparked riots and fears for the transition to democracy ahead of the 1994 elections.

 Masutha was unable to make a decision on Ferdi Barnard, a former apartheid-era Civil Co-Operation Bureau agent found guilty 17 years ago of murdering anti-apartheid activist David Webster.

"In the circumstances no decision has been made on Mr Barnard's applications," said Masutha.

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"The NCCS (National Council of Correctional Services) has written to me to indicate they need more time to consider the application and has been unable to submit recommendations to me."

Webster, an anthropologist at the University of the Witwatersrand, was gunned down outside his home in Troyeville, Johannesburg, in 1989. Barnard was convicted of the killing almost a decade later.

He was also found guilty of the attempted murder of another activist, Dullah Omar, who went on to serve in both former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki's cabinets.

Barnard was sentenced to two life terms plus a further 63 years in jail, and is currently jailed in Pretoria's Kgosi Mampuru II Prison.

Sapa

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