Pretoria – Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha
has denied former apartheid-era police colonel, Eugene de Kock, parole.
De Kock was sentenced to 212 years in jail in 1996 for the murders he
committed during the apartheid years.
According to Minister Masutha, not all the due processes were followed
properly, as families of the victims were not informed or consulted
about De Kock’s parole application, as required by law.
Last month, the Gauteng High Court issued an order to the Minister of
Justice and Correctional Services to consider the recommendation made
by the National Council for Correctional Services (NCCS) and to make a
decision within 30 days, regarding De Kock’s parole.
The NCCS made a recommendation about De Kock’s parole in November last
Addressing the media in Pretoria on Thursday, Minister Masutha said he
has instructed that De Kock’s parole application processes be reviewed.
“I have not approved parole at this stage but directed that a further
profile be resubmitted not later than 12 months,” Minister Masutha said.
He explained that parole is an internationally accepted mechanism that
allows for the conditional release of offenders from a correctional
centre into the community prior to the expiration of their sentences of
imprisonment as imposed by the court.
“It is also important to note that offenders do not have a right to be
placed on parole, but merely a right to be considered for parole after
having served the minimum required period for parole,” Minister Masutha
De Kock is serving sentences, which include life for the murders of
Japie Kereng Maponya and five other people from Nelspruit — Oscar
Mxolisi Ntshota, Glenack Masilo Mama, Lawrence Jacey Nyelende, Khona
Gabela and Tisetso Leballo – known as the Nelspruit Five.
De Kock did not receive amnesty from the Truth and Reconciliation
Commission (TRC) for the murders.
According to Minister Masutha, De Kock has been informed of the
decision to deny him parole.
However, the minister said he has noted various positive reports,
compiled by the relevant professionals and bodies, about De Kock.
“I have noted the progress he is reported to have made to improve his
skills while in custody, as well as the assistance Mr De Kock is said
to have provided and continues to provide to the Missing Persons Task
Team of the National Prosecuting Authority,” he said.
At the time of the murders, De Kock was in charge of a police “death
squad” at Vlakplaas, outside Pretoria, and was arrested in mid-1994.
He was convicted and sentenced in the High Court in Pretoria in 1996.
He was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment for two murders and
to a further 212 years’ imprisonment on charges, including conspiracy
to commit murder, culpable homicide, kidnapping, assault, and fraud.
De Kock has already spent two decades in prison.