‘Prime Evil’s’ parole will be reviewed


Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Michael Masutha, has agreed to review apartheid-era assassin Eugene de Kock’s parole bid in a settlement reached in the Pretoria High Court on Thursday.

Lawyer Julian Knight, who is representing de Kock (dubbed ‘Prime Evil’ by the media), said that the agreement was that the parole application be referred back to the National Council for Correctional Services for recommendation and back to a final decision on or before January 31 next year.

Knight said the victim-offender dialogue that was a stumbling block for de Kock’s parole had taken place, saying Masutha was happy on that basis and that both parties got what they wanted.

Masutha turned down de Kock’s parole application in July, citing lack of sufficient victim consultation for his decision.

De Kock was arrested in 1994 and sentenced in 1996 to two life sentences for murder and another 212 years for conspiracy to commit murder, culpable homicide, kidnapping, assault and fraud.

He was the commanding officer of C1, a counter-insurgency unit of the South African Police that was based at Vlakplaas, a farm west of Pretoria, and was involved in kidnappings, tortures and murders of numerous anti-apartheid activists from the 1980s to the early-90s. The C1's victims included members of the African National Congress (ANC).

Following South Africa's transition to democracy in 1994, de Kock disclosed the full scope of C1's crimes while testifying before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Since beginning his sentence, de Kock has accused several members of the apartheid government, including former state president F. W. de Klerk, of permitting C1's activities.

Khulumani Support Group, started by survivors and families of victims of apartheid atrocities, has argued that de Kock be released on parole but on condition that he continued consultation with those affected by his actions. You can read the group's bid to have de Kock freed here.

According to the agreement reached in front of Judge Mpho Molopa, the National Council for Correctional Services has until December 19 to make a recommendation on De Kock’s parole application.