Jan 30, 2015 4:34 AM

South Africa grants parole to apartheid death squad leader

The Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG (AP) Eugene de Kock, a death squad leader for the apartheid state, has been granted parole after two decades in jail, the South African government announced Friday.

The time and place of de Kock's release would not be made public, Justice Minister Michael Masutha said, adding that de Kock had requested the conditions of his release remain secret.

"In the interest of nation building and reconciliation, I have decided to place Mr. de Kock on parole," said Masutha.

Last year, Masutha declined de Kock's parole appeal, saying that the families of de Kock's victims had not been consulted. The death squad targeted suspected opponents of white rule, killing and torturing dozens of anti-apartheid militants.

De Kock was arrested in 1994, when apartheid ended, and in 1996 was sentenced to two life terms and an additional 212 years in prison. During his time in prison, de Kock made contact with some of his victims' families, asking for forgiveness. Masutha said de Kock had assisted authorities to trace activists who went missing during apartheid.


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