Vic­tims’ wid­ows want De Kock to be par­doned

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - STAFF RE­PORTERS

THE WID­OWS of two of the mur­dered Mother­well Four po­lice­men have writ­ten to Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma urg­ing him to par­don Eu­gene de Kock.

The for­mer Vlak­plaas hit squad com­man­der, who was sen­tenced to more than 200 years be­hind bars for the mur­ders he com­mit­ted dur­ing apartheid, was vis­ited at Pre­to­ria Max­i­mum Se­cu­rity Prison by one of his vic­tims’ wid­ows on Wed­nes­day.

Doreen Mgo­duka, the widow of War­rant Of­fi­cer Mbal­ala Mgo­duka, and Pearl Faku, Sergeant Temba Faku’s widow, have pre­vi­ously ex­pressed their will­ing­ness to rec­on­cile with De Kock.

Their husbands were killed in a car bomb that also claimed the lives of Sergeant Des­mond Mpipa and al­leged in­former Xo­lile Sakati in 1989 in Mother­well, Port El­iz­a­beth. The of­fi­cers were all mem­bers of the Port El­iz­a­beth Se­cu­rity Branch at the time.

De Kock told the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion (TRC) the four had been as­sas­si­nated be­cause they knew too much about the mur­der of United Demo­cratic Front ac­tivist Matthew Goniwe.

It ap­pears the only ques­tion around his release is the tim­ing.

Freed Zim­bab­wean apartheid spy Kevin Woods told Week­end Ar­gus yes­ter­day his friend De Kock had been told he would be freed next week.

Woods, who was held in Harare’s Chiku­rubi prison for 19 years be­fore Zuma’s in­ter­ven­tion led to his free­dom, be­came pen friends with De Kock.

“We never worked to­gether, but we knew each other dur­ing the 1980s. We started writ­ing to each other when I was still in prison,” said Woods.

Woods ex­plained he had spo­ken to his friend – dubbed by some Prime Evil – last week. The men had dis­cussed De Kock’s im­mi­nent par­don and Zuma’s se­cret visit to him last April.

“That visit was leaked be­cause the pub­lic needs to get used to the idea that he will be free soon. And now it is out there. He is looking for­ward to get­ting out. He is pos­i­tive. There are many many peo­ple who care for him,” said Woods.

How­ever, the DA’s James Selfe vowed yes­ter­day to fight any hope of a par­don.

“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.”

There has been spec­u­la­tion that Zuma could grant De Kock a re­prieve as a po­lit­i­cal trade­off for a widely ex­pected par­don for his for­mer fi­nan­cial ad­viser Sch­abir Shaik.

Apartheid sur­vivor group, Khu­lumani said re­cently that if Zuma “was to be ad­e­quately and ap­pro­pri­ately in­formed, and was to rig­or­ously ap­ply his mind to the grant­ing of pardons, he would need to take into ac­count the views of the vic­tims and sur­vivors of the crimes for which pardons were be­ing con­sid­ered”.

The TRC made it a con­di­tion of amnesty that the views of vic­tims had been con­sid­ered.

Pres­i­dency spokesman Vin­cent Mag­wenya would not con­firm that the wid­ows’ let­ter had been re­ceived, but said the Pres­i­dency did not have to make pub­lic the cor­re­spon­dence the pres­i­dent re­ceived.

WAIT­ING: Eu­gene de Kock

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