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DA: Statement by James Selfe, Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Correctional Services, on Eugene De Kock (22/01/2010)

22nd January 2010

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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by Polity.org.za, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by Polity.org.za.

According to media reports, friends of convicted murderer Eugene de Kock have now said that his release from prison via presidential pardon is imminent. According to news reports this morning, Zuma told de Kock's close friend that he had no problem in principle with de Kock being pardoned.

Eugene De Kock is serving a very serious sentence for very serious crimes and should not be taking his place in society for the following reasons:

It is not in the best interest of the criminal justice system. De Kock was convicted of six murders and 89 other criminal offences and is serving a 212 year sentence. De Kock committed horrendous crimes and should be punished for them. He has served just 13 years of two life sentences - justice has not been served. The notion that a De Kock pardon could somehow be used as a trade-off for a Shaik pardon, would confirm the moral decay within the ANC government as it would undermine the rule of law, sending out the message that even a prisoner who has been convicted of heinous crimes can be released from prison as a political bargaining chip.

It is not in the best interest of reconciliation. De Kock applied for amnesty with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and was rejected on the majority of his applications. If he had any information on apartheid atrocities, he surely would have voiced them during the TRC trials to avoid having to go to jail. It is disingenuous to now use any information as a bargaining tool to get let off the hook - apart from anything else, we have no evidence at all that any information that he could make available would be sufficiently important as to serve as a basis for pardoning a apartheid-era murderer.

It is not in the best interest of the public. Releasing De Kock could never be in the public interest. Instead, it could only serve to open old sores, and insult ordinary South Africans, who believe that killers must stay in jail, where they belong.

De Kock most certainly should not take his place in society. He has not served his sentence, he has apparently not shown remorse, and he is a danger to society. This man killed at least six people. It is unfathomable that such an individual could even be considered for a pardon.

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