/ 28 August 2009

Apartheid-era hitman granted parole

Apartheid-era hitman Butana Almond Nofemela, who has served more than 21 years in prison, has been granted parole, Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Friday.

Mapisa-Nqakula said he had met with Nofemela and was satisfied the he had been rehabilitated.

”We wish Mr Nofemela well and trust that he will contribute positively to the building of a strong democracy as he is reunited with his family and loved ones,” Mapisa-Nqakula told journalists in Parliament.

”It is indeed in instances such as this that we can truly be proud of the path of reconciliation and restorative justice that we, as a people, have chosen to embrace.”

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, including Griffiths Mxenge and Zwelibanzi Nyanda, the brother of Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda.

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