‘Prime Evil’ Eugene de Kock says parole delay is legally flawed

2014-08-13 16:26

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Jailed apartheid death-squad leader Eugene de Kock has launched a court bid to force the government to consider him for parole, his lawyer said.

De Kock, dubbed ‘Prime Evil’ for murdering black activists in the 1980s, became eligible for release last month after 20 years behind bars.

However, Justice Minister Michael Masutha delayed by a year the sensitive decision on whether or not to set him free, saying the families of his victims had not been properly consulted.

De Kock's lawyer Julian Knight today said Masutha's argument was being challenged as legally flawed since the need to consult families about parole decisions was only introduced in 2004 – a decade after de Kock was arrested and jailed.

"It's a political game," said Knight. “The minister should be treating De Kock as any other criminal.”

If De Kock is successful in getting the court to overturn Masutha's decision, it will put the ANC in a tight spot.

Although De Kock has few if any supporters, releasing convicted killers on parole has become commonplace, especially if – as is the case with De Kock – they have expressed remorse and are considered to no longer represent a threat to society.

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