/ 15 August 2023

Marike de Klerk’s murderer granted parole

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File photo: Marike de Klerk with her then husband, FW de Klerk. File photo

The man convicted of murdering former first lady Marike de Klerk in 2001, Luyanda Mboniswa, is set to be released on parole on 30 August after 22 years in prison. 

Having served the minimum required time of his two life sentences, “Mboniswa will be admitted into the system of community corrections, whereby he is expected to comply with specific set of parole conditions for the rest of his natural life”, the department of correctional services’ spokesperson, Singabakho Nxumalo, said in a statement.

Under his parole conditions, Mboniswa will be restricted to his magisterial district and will not be allowed to make contact with De Klerk’s family. He may also be subject to community correction programmes as part of his rehabilitation process. 

Mboniswa, a former security guard, was found guilty of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and housebreaking with the intent to commit a crime in May 2003. Three days after his conviction, the then 22-year old Mboniswa was sentenced in the Cape Town high court to two life terms and three years for breaking into De Klerk’s home. 

He was found not guilty on a charge of rape. 

De Klerk was murdered in her beachfront apartment at Dolphin Beach Club in Cape Town’s northern suburb of Table View on 2 December 2001. Her body was discovered 36 hours after she was killed. 

According to the postmortem, which was submitted to the high court during the murder trial, De Klerk was found with a stab wound on her left shoulder blade, bruises to her head consistent with a ”severe assault”, along with scratches, bruising of the deep muscles of the neck and haemorrhaging inside the right eye. 

De Klerk’s brain and lungs indicated that she was still alive for a while after her system was starved of oxygen. 

Mboniswa pleaded not guilty. He confessed his involvement in the killing in a statement to a magistrate, but later claimed police had forced him to make it.

De Klerk’s former husband, FW de Klerk, was South Africa’s last apartheid president and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as one of Nelson Mandela’s deputy presidents from 1994 until 1996.

They divorced in 1998 after 39 years of marriage, with the former president admitting to an affair with the wife of a Greek shipping tycoon whom he subsequently married.

FW de Klerk died at the age of 85 on 11 November 2021.