Derby-Lewis, De Kock and Barnard to know their fate today!

JANUARY 30, 2015

Probably the apartheid-era’s most infamous killers, Ferdi Barnard, Eugene de Kock and Clive Derby-Lewis will on Friday know whether they will be released on parole or not.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Michael Masutha, is expected to announce whether the medical parole application of 79-year-old Derby-Lewis has been successful. He will also indicate if De Kock and Barnard will be released on parole.

Derby-Lewis

Clive Derby-Lewis was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the assassination of the South African Communist Party (SACP) leader, Chris Hani, in 1993.

For the murder, Derby-Lewis was sentenced to death. However, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment when capital punishment was outlawed in 1995.

He now suffers from lung cancer and has a life expectancy of five years.

Derby-Lewis has been denied medical parole on four occasions so far.

‘Prime Evil’

Eugene de Kock, nicknamed ‘Prime Evil’ by the press, was head of the then apartheid regime’s Vlakplaas, a counter-insurgency unit of the South African Police that kidnapped, tortured, and murdered numerous anti-apartheid activists from the 1980s to the early-90s.

De Kock was sentenced to two life terms and 212 years in prison for the eighty-nine charges he was convicted on including six counts of murder, as well as conspiracy to murder, attempted murder, assault, kidnapping, illegal possession of firearms, and fraud.

Perhaps, finally remorseful, in recent years, de Kock has made several pleas for forgiveness to the relatives of his victims.

In his parole application, De Kock, who is now 65, argued that he was merely following orders from his superiors in the South African Police, none of whom were prosecuted.

Ferdi Barnard

Ferdi Barnard, a former agent of the Civil Co-Operation Bureau, was sent to prison for life and 63 years after being convicted for the murder of anti-Apartheid Activist, David Webster, and the attempt to kill former minister, Dullah Omar.

He originally faced 25 charges, including two of murder, two of attempted murder and various charges relating to fraudulent transactions and the illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Barnard was acquitted on a further nine charges, because of a lack of evidence.

Masutha previously turned down Barnard’s bid for freedom and said as with De Kock, the families of Barnard’s victims had to be consulted first before parole was reconsidered.

Photo: Eugene de Kock, nicknamed ‘Prime Evil’ by the press, was head of the then apartheid regime’s Vlakplaas, a counter-insurgency unit of the South African Police that kidnapped, tortured, and murdered numerous anti-apartheid activists from the 1980s to the early-90s.