Daughter of murdered police officer continues her plight against killers
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Cape Town - The daughter of a slain police officer who went public, earlier this year, is begging President Cyril Ramaphosa to hear her pleas and not grant parole to her father’s killers.
She said, she is keen to be present at the Victim Offenders Dialogue, armed with the court's records, including thousands of signatures of a petition.
A frustrated Roxanne van Eck began a petition in March and has received 3 000 signatures, so far, including 200 statements from the Table View community and surrounding areas.
Van Eck spread her message widely on social media and in the media, calling for her father, Leslie Cilliers’ killer to not be granted parole.
In 2003, Cilliers was stationed at Table View Police Station. He was shot with an AK-47 by bank robbers near Durbanville.
Inspector Cilliers was 38 years old and had a passion for serving his community and helping destitute children.
Xolani Kumalo ((Corr)), who has just served 18 years behind bars, may be set free on parole.
It is for this reason that Van Eck is keen to be part of the Victim Offender Dialogue which will allow her to state her reasons why Kumalo should not be granted parole, but serve out his 25-year sentence.
In her strongly-worded petition, Van Eck said her father had been shot 52 times and that her dad had received the death sentence, and now the people responsible wanted to be set free.
She wrote: “My dad got the death sentence at his hands, and in turn, we got issued a true-life sentence. A life without the wonderful man that my father was.
“Our sentences are not being lessened. Why should Xolani Kumalo, or his accomplices be let out on an earlier parole?
“Why should the man that shot 52 bullets into my fathers’ body and head be shown any mercy?”
Van Eck is not giving up. She is making sure the petition is seen and that the communities hear her pleas.
“Our petition ( https://www.change.org/cop-killer ) went live mid-March and in two months we have received over 3000 signatures.
“I have submitted over 200 community statements from the Table View and surrounding areas’ residents stating their appeals against the early release of the offenders that were convicted of my father’s murder in 2003.
“The joint sentiment is that they were sentenced to multiple life sentences and even if these are to run concurrently, a minimum of 25 years should be served before parole is even considered.”
Van Eck was contacted in February to be part of the VOD but that communication and process has been slow and left her frustrated.
“The case worker contacted me mid-Feb to advise that the offenders were due for early parole consideration,” she said.
“She explained the VOD process which I agreed to participate in.
“She sent these questions through to the case manager in the region where the one victim (Xolani Kumalo) is being held (Mdantsane) and I am still awaiting answers.
“The case worker that met with me may have had good intentions, but she has had to bear the brunt of my frustrations, as people she needs answers from are not relaying them, so that she can provide me and my family with answers.”
Van Eck added she was informed that a mass VOD session would be better for her and her family where all inmates were present but has received very little communication - and hopes the Department of Correctional Services will consider this.
She has taken on the task of providing possible contact details for victims of the robbery and their families to be part of the process. “Therefore, DCS needs to make arrangement to transfer the offender in Mdantsane as well as the two offenders being held in Pretoria (Tisetso Manako and Tabo Mokoena), down to Pollsmoor prison for the joint VOD.
“At the same time, DSC is tasked with contacting the other victims (i.e. those that the offenders attempted to murder when shooting at them on the day that my father was murdered).
“These victims are no longer working for SAPS as they all left shortly after the crime took place, 18 years ago.
“So now DCS needs to track and find these victims. I have tried to provide contact details for those that I have details of. I have made it clear that I wish to attend the parole hearing(s) and that I want to be notified when they are scheduled.
“‘At this point I do not know if the parole hearings of the two offenders in Pretoria and the one offender in Mdantsane will be a joint parole hearing (like the VOD) or if they will be held separately in the respective regions.
“I wish to put forward my family’s objection and plead that no one wants to make an effort there.”
She has since made contact with the previous state prosecutor, who represented the case and has provided her with documentation.
National spokesperson for the Department of Correctional Services Singabakho Nxumalo, previously said victims had a right to be part of the process of parole.
Sechaba Mphahlele of the Department of Correctional Services said the inmates were serving a life sentence, but would be considered for parole, and were part of rehabilitation programmes inside the prison.
“The Department of Correctional Services hereby confirms that the inmates in question,” he said.
“They are currently serving life imprisonment sentences.
“They are currently undergoing correctional programmes in line with their sentence plans.
“Upon completion of their minimum detention period, in line with relevant legislation, they will be considered for parole, and due process will be effected accordingly.”