Ministry stays mum on De Kock

2015-02-01 17:07
Eugene de Kock

Eugene de Kock

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Johannesburg - Amidst widespread media speculation, the justice ministry on Sunday remained mum as to the whereabouts of recently paroled former apartheid assassin Eugene de Kock.

Justice ministry spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said questions from the media about whether De Kock had been released from prison would not be answered.

"He [De Kock] has asked that we keep that confidential," Mhaga told Sapa in a SMS.

Earlier, correctional services referred all queries about the former Vlakplaas commander to the justice ministry.

Meanwhile, Sunday newspapers published various reports of his alleged whereabouts.

"We planned everything thoroughly. He is coming in for a soft landing," political analyst and campaigner for De Kock's release, Piet Croucamp told the City Press newspaper.

He added that he had already found a job for De Kock.

The newspaper also quoted an unnamed source at the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria as saying De Kock had already left the institution where he served nearly 20 years of his sentence.

During Friday's announcement of the granting of parole for De Kock, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said that the 66-year-old had requested that the details of his release not be made public.

However, the Sunday Independent reported that following death threats, the man dubbed "Prime Evil" for his apartheid crimes, had been taken to a safe house.

According to unnamed sources, the newspaper said that the threats apparently came from right-wing organisations and former members of the apartheid-era security branch who feared he might identify others responsible for various killings under the regime.

Furthermore, the Sunday Times reported that Namibia's South West Africa People's Organisation (Swapo) had visited De Kock while he was still in prison and offered to allow him to stay on an isolated piece of land in the Okavango.

The offer was apparently mentioned in a report used for his parole application.

De Kock was responsible for the killings of hundreds of Swapo soldiers during their independence struggle.

The former police colonel was serving two life sentences for six murders, plus 212 years for other crimes.

In 1997/98, he testified before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission about details of the kidnapping, torture and murder of anti-apartheid activists at the farm Vlakplaas in a bid to get amnesty.

Read more on:    eugene de kock  |  michael masutha  |  pretoria

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