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Minister must be fair and equitable in granting parole – DA

DAThe DA notes the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Mike Masutha’s decision on the parole applications of Eugene de Kock and Clive Derby-Lewis this morning.

The DA has consistently taken the view that prisoners who qualify for parole can and should be released, but only after the correct procedures have been followed.

This involves recommendations from the Correctional Supervision Parole Board and, in some cases, the National Council for Correctional Services, the Medical Parole Review Board and a decision by the Minister.

Subsequent to the controversial granting of parole to Schabir Shaik when he was clearly not ill, procedures were tightened-up through the establishment of the Medical Parole Review Board.

This is a body composed of duly qualified and experienced practitioners, who must make recommendations to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mike Masutha, on the granting of parole on medical grounds.

Given this system, the Minister cannot cherry-pick recommendations or parts of them he likes or does not like.

If medical practitioners are of the opinion that Clive Derby-Lewis’s illness (stage three lung cancer) is serious enough to warrant medical parole, the Minister, not being a medical practitioner, is not in the position to comment on whether Derby-Lewis is incapacitated or not.

A process was set in place, the Minister must respect it.

In the case of Eugene de Kock, due process was followed in considering his parole and it was correctly granted.

Issued by DA

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