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S. Africa Delays Parole Decision on Apartheid-era Killer

  • VOA News

FILE - Leader of an Apartheid-era police and torture squad, Eugene de Kock (L), is seen at a hearing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Pretoria Sept. 14, 1998.

FILE - Leader of an Apartheid-era police and torture squad, Eugene de Kock (L), is seen at a hearing of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Pretoria Sept. 14, 1998.

South Africa has postponed a parole decision for the leader of a police killing and torture squad during the apartheid era.

Eugene de Kock was dubbed "Prime Evil" for the crimes he and the clandestine "C10" unit committed against opponents of white minority rule in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha says de Kock has made "progress" toward rehabilitation, but families of his victims must be consulted as part of the parole consideration process.

De Kock was convicted of murder after his arrest in 1994 and sentenced to two life terms plus 212 years in prison.

Now 65, de Kock argued in his parole application he is the only member of C10 serving time for the crimes the police squad committed.

Under South African law, a person may be considered for parole after 20 years of imprisonment.

Masutha said de Kock's case can be reviewed again in one year.

De Kock cooperated in the 1990s with South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission and was granted amnesty for some of his crimes.

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