Opinion | Guest Contributor | 2015.02.06
As a South African, a daughter of this African soil, my heart hurts that a killer whose hands are soaked in blood walks the streets a free man, writes Saajida Malvina.
Last Friday, Judge Michael Masutha announced that former death squad leader Eugene de Kock had met all necessary parole requirements. Masutha said he had done adequate consultation with the family of his victims. De Kock had served 18 years of his 212-year sentence after he lead a killing spree that left thousands of people dead in southern Africa.
I wonder how the former policeman who has only been tried for a fraction of his crimes could ever be freed by the same movement who he tried to annihilate?
The former police-men dubbed "prime evil" by the media during his reign received an award, the Police Cross in 1989 for his bravery in a raid that he lead in Lesotho in which 7 people were killed in cold blood.
He not only killed freedom fighters from South Africa but led 4 operational tours in the Rhodesian Bush War each lasting about 3-4 months in 400 combat conditions. He also legalised many killings in Rhodesia.
I wonder if true justice has been meted out for the hundreds of freedom fighters in Namibia who were part of SWAPO and captured, injected with sedative, and thrown from a plane off the Namibian Coast into the Atlantic Ocean.
De Kock is infamous as the commanding officer of the brutal and notorious C1, a counter insurgency group unit of the SAPS under whom hundreds were kidnapped, tortured and brutally murdered.
As a young woman living in a young democracy in South Africa I don't see his release being an exercise in nation building and reconciliation. He still needs to answer many questions, and we need to take into consideration the fact that the TRC only looked at crimes committed from the 80's onward.
It is possible that he may regret his actions, but had apartheid still been in existence today, which side of the fence would he be? Forgiveness is a key element of course - but can a person truly forget when these crimes were committed with such a degree of hate? His release has opened fresh wounds and such raw emotions that it seems like the crimes were committed only yesterday. Every time I close my eyes I recall David Maponya a security guard whom he abducted and tortured before driving of to Swaziland. He attempted to shoot him, but both his guns jammed. What thoughts were then going through Maponya's head as De Kock mercilessly killed him with a spade before burying him in a shallow grave?
As a step toward nation building, the government could have instead released Clive Derby Lewis who assassinated Chris Hani. Lewis has stage 3 cancer and is terminally ill.
True justice has not been served for the hundreds slain by this oppressive man who walks free whilst thousands grew up being robbed of a parent, sibling or child. Their lives and their efforts to grant us freedom and democracy feel futile now.
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