Parole granted for South African apartheid-era killer

World Today

Rage, protests and demonstrations as South Africa paroles the former head of a covert unit – during apartheid – responsible for dozens of deaths. Eugene de Kock was granted parole, despite being sentenced to two life terms and an additional 212 years in prison.

During his testimony in the 90’s…he recounted his units efforts to kill and torture anti-apartheid activists.
CCTV’s Angelo Coppola reported this story from Pretoria, South Africa.

Parole granted for South African apartheid-era killer

Rage, protests and demonstrations as South Africa paroles the former head of a covert unit – during apartheid – responsible for dozens of deaths. Eugene de Kock was granted parole, despite being sentenced to two life terms and an additional 212 years in prison. During his testimony in the 90’s…he recounted his units efforts to kill and torture anti-apartheid activists. CCTV’s Angelo Coppola reported this story from Pretoria, South Africa.

The South African justice minister Michael Masutha said his decision was based solely on the law and facts before him. There was no emotion involved, and he was sticking to the constitution. When it came to Clive Derby Lewis, he had a different position.

“What is before me is a medical report of somebody else who happens to be a existing person, who received similar treatment, at the same time as Mr Derby Lewis was in the hospital,” Minister Masutha said. “It’s not clear to me, and according to him, that person then had to change his own name to another pseudonym or something of that nature. It’s all very murky.”

The Eugene De Kock release has stirred up emotions.

“Of course we’re satisfied. We are happy. We might even be elated. But with consideration for the families of the victims of the past to whom this might be a very sensitive day,” Political scientist Piet Kroukamp, said. “An emotional day, even. So it’s a, we will be, celebrate responsibly.”

“I think it’s never really a positive thing when we let people out of jail, if all due processes have been followed in the judicial system,” Boitumelo Sethlatswe of the Centere for Risk Analysis said. “If we let them out before the time that we had said they should be in prison for. And so I think that it is a quite a sad day that wee see that people are coming out of prison before time.”

Minister Masutha said de Kock’s release was part of nation building. Something that has been disputed.

“You know, we have been hearing this whole narrative around, you know, this is good for nation building, it’s good for reconciliation, and I think we also need to look back, that many people feel quite short changed by our TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) process that we had,” Sethlatswe said. “So when we see these sort of things happen, I think it does not aid nation building and reconciliation in any way.”

The minister’s announcement has received mixed reactions. Essentially it’s a one out of three, four differing reasons.The media is following to wait and see what happens with the Clive Derby Lewis case.