Minister mulls parole for apartheid-era murderer

An apartheid-era police hit squad member, who in 1987 escaped the gallows after confessing to killing eight ANC members, is being considered for parole.

The Department of Correctional Services said on Friday that Almond Nofemela had served more 20 years in prison for the murder of a Brits farmer and was now entitled to be considered for parole in terms of Correctional Services Act.

“Mr Nofemela has served 21 years of his life sentence and was therefore entitled to be considered for parole in terms of the Act,” the department said in a statement.

Nofemela was sentenced to death in 1987 for the murder of Johannes Hendrik Lourens on his farm near Brits.

The day before he was to be executed for the Lourens murder, Nofemela confessed to killing eight ANC members.

Nofemela was granted amnesty for the eight ANC murders, but continued to serve a life term for killing Lourens.

Nofemela’s case was submitted to the National Council of Correctional Services (NCCS) for consideration.

In terms of section 136(3) of the Correctional Services Act, any person serving a life sentence handed down before October 1 2004, is entitled to be considered for parole after serving 20 years of the term.

On Friday the chairperson of the NCCS, Judge Siraj Desai, submitted recommendations for Nofemela’s parole to Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

The council recommended that Nofemela be granted parole provided the Department of Correctional Services refer him to “an appropriate agency for psycho-social support “for the purposes of assisting him with reintegration”.

It also recommended that he undergo “the usual pre-release programmes” and that he not have access to firearms.

“In terms of the act, the minister has a discretion, if the national council has made a favourable recommendation, as to whether or not to confirm the placement on parole of an offender,” the statement said.

Mapisa-Nqakula is considering the council’s recommendations and will make a decision “shortly”. - Sapa

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