Notorious former Vlakplaas death squad commander Eugene de Kock has been denied parole, for now.
Justice Minister Mike Masutha today said it had become clear to him that “none of the affected families of the victims were consulted” in the parole process, as is required by law.
“In light of the above, I am of the view that it is fair and in the interests of the victims and the broader community, that the families of the victims are afforded an opportunity to participate in the parole consideration process of the offender, as required by laws governing our parole process,” said Masutha.
Masutha has, in effect, postponed the decision on De Kock’s parole, ordering that a further profile on De Kock be resubmitted after victims’ families had been consulted.
He has ordered that this profile be made available for a further decision after twelve months, not the usual two-year period prescribed by law.
Masutha said he had “noted the progress De Kock 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”.
The Missing Persons Task Team searches for the persons who went missing as a result of apartheid crimes, including the excavation of unmarked graves.
De Kock is serving a sentence for the murders of Japie Maponya, a security guard, and the Nelspruit 5: Oscar Ntshota, Glenack Mama, Lawrence Nyelende, Khona Gabela and Tisetso Leballo, for which he did not receive parole from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Masutha said he was not sure why families of victims had not been consulted but hinted that there would be a review of the parole system to identify deficiencies in it.