We don’t deserve Michael Masutha’s De Kock indecision

2014-07-10 14:28

Did Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha have to call a press conference to announce that he is not granting apartheid killer Eugene de Kock parole? I think not.

This is a classic case of much ado about nothing. I do not hold any strong views about whether De Kock should or should not be released, but I am convinced Masutha created unnecessary hype by announcing days in advance that there would be this major De Kock announcement.

The mere mention of the topic itself created a buzz as social media users and people in newsrooms and political organisations started taking individual positions about the merits of any decision.

What an anticlimax. Today’s announcement was disappointing because it was a deferral of a decision rather than a substantial one.

» Talk to us: Were you disappointed by the announcement? Leave your comment below or join the conversation on Twitter: @City_Press.

Masutha 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.

As we reported earlier, the minister 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 12 months, not the usual two-year period prescribed by law.

Masutha could have easily communicated this to De Kock without the public hype.

Unless Masutha, who is a credible lawyer but a lightweight politician, wanted to been seen to “turn down” De Kock’s parole application, thereby preparing us politically for next year when he releases the man.

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