News24

Group contests Groenewald parole

2010-01-23 15:59

Johannesburg - An anti-racism group has called on Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to oppose the court ruling that double killer Pieter Groenewald be released.

In a statement on Saturday, the Social Movement Against Racist Tendencies (Smart) urged the minister to "rectify this embarrassing situation", saying it will approach the Constitutional Court if nothing was done.

This follows a High Court order compelling the correctional services department to release Groenewald, seven years after he was jailed for 20 years for a roadside attack on three men.

He was convicted in 2003 of the May 1990 execution-style murders of Simon Koba and Prince Makena on the road between Cullinan and Mamelodi.

"The release of this racist is a clear indication that racists are treated with kid gloves in our own country and we should not be surprised if the Boeremag trialists will also follow and be released," said the organisation's leader Panyaza Lesufi.

Smart called for South Africans to express their disgust by joining their facebook group.

Controversial proceedings

Acting Judge Roelof du Plessis on Wednesday dismissed the Minister and Commissioner of Correctional Service's application for leave to appeal against his November 2009 ruling that Groenewald be released on parole.

Groenewald remained in custody while the application for leave to appeal was pending, but the Judge on Wednesday ruled that he now be released, despite any further possible appeal procedures.

Groenewald became eligible for parole in September last year after serving a third of his sentence.

He applied to the court for his release after the Parole Board turned down his application, saying he must wait until October this year to apply again.

He claimed he did not have a fair hearing because all of the relevant documents and reports - over which he had no control - were never placed before the Board.

Correctional Services opposed his bid for release, but never filed any answering papers and was not present when the application was heard in court.