De Kock urged to meet victim's mother

2012-01-25 22:01
Johannesburg - A well-prepared meeting between apartheid police assassin Eugene de Kock and the family of victim Bheki Mlangeni could help both heal, the Restorative Justice Centre (RJC) said on Wednesday.

Mike Batley, of the RJC said: "A meeting between them that is carefully prepared and facilitated by a trained and sensitive facilitator would probably be of immense value to the both of them."

Independent Online reported on Tuesday that De Kock wrote in a letter that he would like to apologise to Mlangeni's mother Catherine.

He accepted he could not seek forgiveness from the murdered man, nor ask her for forgiveness for his death.

But, he said he wanted to apologise for the pain and suffering he had caused her.

Mlangeni was quoted as questioning his motives and asking why he had waited so long.

The RJC said it was not about condoning, excusing, or forgetting.

Batley quoted Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu: "Forgiveness is not pretending that things are other than the way they are.

"But forgiveness benefits the victim as much as, if not more than, the offender. It is never too late for this to take place."

Bheki Mlangeni died of head injuries after a bomb built into the headphones of a Walkman portable cassette player exploded while he was wearing them.

De Kock had been part of preparations for the bomb, which the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was told was actually intended to kill Dirk Coetzee, a former police operative.

Coetzee, who at one stage worked with De Kock at the assassins' base Vlakplaas outside Pretoria, later crossed over to the African National Congress.

Vlakplaas operatives had included cassettes by Neil Diamond and one on Vlakplaas operational matters, along with the Walkman, in a parcel intended for Coetzee.

Mlangeni opened the parcel when it arrived and used the Walkman, sustaining serious head injuries when it exploded.

The RJC offers its services to victims of crime, as well as the perpetrators of the crimes and their families.

Read more on:    eugene de kock

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