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Minister to consider de Kock parole recommendation

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Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha will consider a recommendation by a correctional services council on whether apartheid-era assassin Eugene de Kock should be granted parole.

“Those recommendations [by the national council] are not going to be made public,” Masutha’s spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said on Friday.

However, Mhaga said the recommendations were expected to be handed over to the minister soon.

“The minister will then make an announcement on January 31,” Mhaga said.

In November, an agreement was reached in the High Court in Pretoria that the parole council would make a recommendation and Masutha would make a final decision by the end of January.

At the time of the court action, De Kock’s lawyer Julian Knight said a victim/offender dialogue had taken place since August.

In August, Masutha announced that De Kock, who had been nicknamed “Prime Evil”, would have to wait another year before his application for parole was reconsidered, to allow the families of his victims to be consulted.

De Kock was in charge of a police “death squad” at Vlakplaas, outside Pretoria, and arrested in mid-1994. He was convicted and sentenced in the High Court in Pretoria in 1996.

He was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment for six murders, including those of the Nelspruit Five, and to a further 212 years’ imprisonment on other charges. SAPA

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