South Africa’s Justice Minister says the country’s parole process needs to be overhauled after controversy caused by his denying the release of an apartheid era death squad leader.
Parole was refused because the families of the death squad’s victims were not consulted.
Lawyer for Eugene de Kock, who’s served 20 years of a more than 200 year sentence, says denying parole is legally flawed.
Julian Knight says it’s wrong in law to apply victim participation to the process.
Eugene de Kock was found guilty of more than 80 counts of murder, kidnapping and assault against dissidents in the final years of apartheid.
De Kock gave details of his crimes to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up by then President Nelson Mandela after South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994.
Prison authorities have given a positive report on de Kock, saying he shows remorse and has improved his skills in prison.
Justice Minister Michael Masutha’s declined the parole recommendation, saying the families of de Kock’s victims should be consulted.
He doesn’t know why this has not happened.
There will have to be a review of parole policy.
He says de Kock’s parole process can be fast tracked to allow a new application within a year.