/ 25 August 2009

Minister meets apartheid-era hit squad cop

Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has met apartheid-era police hit squad member, Butana Almond Nofemela, as she considers his parole after 21 years in prison.

A statement from Correctional Services on Tuesday said Mapisa-Nqakula had begun a process of ”broad consultations with affected parties” while applying her mind to the matter. Her consultations included a meeting with Nofemela.

”To this end Minister Mapisa-Nqakula yesterday [on Monday] met with Mr Nofemela and had a long discussion with him as part of the process of satisfying herself whether Mr Nofemela is indeed ready for placement on parole,” the statement said.

”The minister is this morning continuing with this process of broad consultations as she applies her mind and will make her decision known soon.”

Nofemela, who had been sentenced to death for murdering Brits farmer Johannes Hendrik Lourens, escaped the gallows at the last minute in 1987 after confessing to killing eight African National Congress (ANC) members.

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

Nofemela has served 21 years of the sentence and in terms of the Correctional Services Act is entitled to apply for parole.

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

The High Court in Pretoria on Monday gave Mapisa-Nqakula 10 days to decide whether Nofemela should be released on parole. — Sapa