Thursday, January 30, 2014

South African Elections 2014 based on a Class Struggle

No Fear No Favour No Dictators................

Stephen Grootes: So, has the game changed? SOUTH AFRICA 30 JANUARY 2014  10:00

In most democracies, you have to be careful when the leader of the main opposition party claims that a certain announcement is a "game-changer" for that state's politics. It is usually hyperbole. It can lead certain newspapers and television stations, and the odd radio bulletin, but it doesn't normally amount to very much. Come to think of it, when sitting presidents say the same thing, that often doesn't amount to very much more. However, the DA's recruitment/renting/retention of Mamphela Ramphele as its presidential candidateis certainly part of a much bigger dynamic within our politics around race and class. But, at the same time, the split within Cosatu and the possible formation of a workers' party is a manifestation of the same processes. Where will it all end? 

There are moments of forthright honesty in our politics. Sometimes, it's in an ANC policy discussion document, and sometimes it's Helen Zille in the middle of a major "game-changing" announcement. When asked, quite bluntly on Tuesday, if Ramphele was now the DA's presidential candidate simply because she was black, there was no denial. "It's not just because she's black," went the line - it's because of the qualities she has, and the fact that she's black. In other words, she's a fine, good, upstanding leader, and she is black. Implicit in that reply, is the fact that being black, in this case, is a very good thing.

And of course it is. Zille is right to proclaim that this removes some of the sting of the ANC's accusations against the DA. It is going to be quite difficult for the ANC's foot soldiers to claim that the DA wants to bring back Apartheid, when it has some hurriedly produced posters of Ramphele on every lamp post in every urban area near you.

What the DA is hoping for is that the contrast of Ramphele versus Number One of Nkandla will prove too much for up-until-now loyal black middle-class voters. Zille is hoping that Ramphele in some way will push them over the edge and towards her party. Or, to put it another way, she is well aware that over a million people voted for Cope in 2009, and she's hoping every single one for of them will vote for her, through her new proxy. (As the ANC will no doubt put it.)

That may well be the case. But it's not actually the political story of 2014. The political story of this year, barring any major shocks in the elections, is surely the split within Cosatu, and the formation, by NUMSA, of a workers’ party.

On Wednesday, the nine unions who wrote to Cosatu president S'dumo Dlamini asking for a special congress to decide what should happen with suspended Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi held a joint press conference. Just the fact this even happened is an indication of how bloody annoyed they all are. It's been several months since they demanded that conference, and crossed the threshold set out in Cosatu's constitution. Dlamini of course, hasn't moved. And he isn't going to. Which means these unions may have to leave Cosatu.

It's important to remember the root of this split. It's not really about Vavi, although he's the personality involved. It's really about economic policy and what Essop Pahad would call class struggle. It's about the fact NUMSA and these other unions want a radical economic policy that sees redistribution, higher taxation and huge state intervention in the economy, and that the ANC is simply not going to deliver those things. And as there seems to be no changes in the offing to the ANC's policies for the foreseeable future, it has to be assumed that this workers' party will eventually be formed. Even if, somehow, Mantashe is able to pull off some miracle again.

So then, how does this all affect our beloved republic, in terms of its class and racial dynamics? Here's one scenario:

Firstly, it makes race less important. It would render Julius Malema's "The DA is for white people, the ANC is for you" soundbyte to the history books. There would be a very real choice, for the first time. And, crucially, people could vote for the new workers' party, without feeling that they are somehow betraying the struggle. We don't actually know how important that is, but it does seem to be a factor.

Secondly, we would have a situation in which people start to actually vote according to their class. This would be mainly because they would suddenly have that option. (Still, there would be some element of race to it, because our economy is still racialised, and economic Apartheid is still with us.)

So, if you are middle class, possibly a member of the racial minorities, believe in the free market, and worry hugely about the number of children in your kid's class, you are probably going to vote for the DA. It is still going to grow its share of the vote, as the middle class grows. It would also be based mainly in the urban areas. And it will be a very important player in our politics. It may not hold national power, but it might well be a king-maker, or part of a coalition. Which is in fact part of its policy at the moment.

Then there would be the new workers’ party. Let's call it Shosholoza, for want of a better name right now. It would attract people who are currently Cosatu members. So many, many blue-collar workers, people who live in the urban areas in the main. They would be poorer than the DA voter, and have very different beliefs around the economy. They would also be willing to spend their weekends organising, and making sure their organisation grew.

And then you would have the ANC. Possibly with more of a rural base. Depending to an extent on the liberation dividend, but also, perhaps, on its ability to make sure that people get social grants. As a party facing ideological competition from Shosholoza, and possibly the Economic Freedom Fighters, it may have to change course slightly. Exactly how that play out is difficult to say at this point. But it may go more towards the Left than it is at the moment.

If all of this were to happen, it would make life very interesting not just for our voters, who would have real choice, but also for politicians. What would happen if the ANC won say 49% of the vote, with Shosholoza and the DA winning most of the rest? It would seem unlikely those two parties could run a coalition together, but it would be fun watching the ANC trying to keep a government together. It would have to find a way to manage its policies very carefully. Certainly, it would find it very difficult to weather the kind of Number One scandal that is currently lives with.

It goes without saying that this is not necessarily how things will play out. There are simply too many variables. But certainly, this scenario would be attractive in that it gives whoever is the ruling party real competition and thus improves democracy. It might also encourage more people to vote, and take part in politics, rather than simply throwing stones during protests, but staying away on voting day.

It would also make us more normal as a country. Class would matter more than race. 

Stephen Grootes is the host of the Midday Report on Talk Radio 702 and 567 CapeTalk, and the Senior Political Correspondent for Eyewitness News. Follow him on twitter: @StephenGrootes

This column appeared on Daily Maverick.




Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cops under siege as anger explodes

GRAEME HOSKEN | 30 January, 2014 00:141 Comments

UP IN ARMS: Residents of Relela, near Tzaneen, gather in the main road to protest against the release of two murder suspects. Three protesters were shot dead in clashes with the police
A Limpopo village was under siege yesterday as thousands of angry residents demanded justice following a night of deadly clashes between police and protesters.

The violence at Relela, near Tzaneen, claimed three lives.

As tensions rose yesterday the police sent in reinforcements of heavily armed officers in armoured vehicles and riot gear.

The police blocked roads around the village and the residents - who had stormed the satellite police station on Tuesday night, injuring 15 officers - barricaded roads in the village with burning tyres, logs and steel structures.

The violence reached a crescendo on Tuesday when villagers demanded to be told why the killers of Kgomotso Rakgolane had not been be arrested.

Rakgolane's badly mutilated body was found 8km from her home on Friday. Within hours of the discovery, police took two men in for questioning but later released them. Irate residents torched the men's homes. As police tried to restore order, a 15-year-old, Tshepo Baloyi, was shot dead.

Residents' anger boiled over on Tuesday night when between 1500 and 2000 people stormed the police station. Officers - claiming to be defending themselves - shot dead Mozere Molele and Mohale "Lighty" Seloa.

The latest deaths bring to eight the number of protesters believed to have died at the hands of the police in recent weeks.

Four deaths were reported in Mothotlung, in North West, and one at Durban Deep, in Roodepoort, western Johannesburg.

By late yesterday evening, thousands of residents from nearby villages were preparing to join their neighbours in protesting.

"We will fight. We will fight until we win this war against injustice.

"The police can bring their boss. We do not care. We will die fighting for justice," said a youth, hurling insults at national police commissioner Riah Phiyega as her motorcade left Relela last night.

Phiyega had rushed to Relela to visit injured police officers and to be briefed on the situation.

Institute of Security Studies policing researcher Johan Burger warned of similarly dangerous situations developing elsewhere.

"What is happening is not good. If this continues on the spiral it is following, it's going to get out of control," Burger said. "These groups are highly militant. They know the police weaknesses in terms of numbers, training and now fear. They will use it ... they will taunt the police to react ... to do what happened on [Tuesday] night.

"The police are using force when they should not, and people are dying. It is about so many problems. Something must be done before more die," he warned.

But nothing, it seems, will calm the anger of the Relela villagers.

"We don't want to be calm. We don't trust the police. We go to the police but they fail us. They never give us answers," said David Lefuths, whose cousin, Molele, was one of those killed.

Raymond Lefuphona said the police had failed the village.

"This is why we want to destroy them and their police station. They must leave us to handle our own justice," Lefuphona said.

"Phiyega wants cooperation but what do they do for us? Nothing. Instead, when we demand justice, they kill us."

Police spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Malaudzi said the officers injured in the attack on the police station had been discharged from hospital.

"The police are here to help but the communities don't understand that. We need to work together but they don't want to. We tried to explain the situation with the investigation but they were not listening," he said.

He said the officers involved in the shooting had no choice but to react in the way they did.

"They were defending themselves against armed protesters who, despite minimum force techniques being used, continued to charge and try to storm the police station."

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Two protesters shot dead by police

Two protesters shot dead by police

2014-01-29 09:06

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Johannesburg report - (Tzaneen )

Two men were shot dead by police during a protest in Relela outside Tzaneen, Limpopo police said on Wednesday.

The two men, aged between 25 and 40, were killed on Tuesday evening near the police station in the area, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

About 1 500 violent protesters armed with petrol bombs and stones attacked the police at the station.

"Fifteen officers were injured, three critically so and 19 police vehicles were damaged."

Mulaudzi said the intentions of the protesters were clear and the officers did what anyone would have done to protect themselves.

"Anyone who was facing that situation last night would have no option but to do what the members did to protect their lives."

Nine people were arrested for public violence, said Mulaudzi.

He urged Relela community members to stop abusing their constitutional rights by being brutal to police officers.

The community had been protesting since Thursday after the body of a woman was found in the area.

Mulaudzi said two people were taken in for questioning but later released. Their houses were burned on Saturday by angry community members.

During that protest a 15-year-old boy was shot dead by police, allegedly by police.

"The firearms of officers who attended the protest were taken for a ballistic test to confirm if the boy was indeed killed by police."


Read more on: police | polokwane | protests


No Fear No Favour No Constitution Amendments needed............

BEE Certificates: Fake it till you make it

     rebecca davies  south africa 28 january 2014  00:34                                                                                                                                         

On Monday the latest report emerged of a South African company having faked its empowerment credentials. In this case the story was stranger than normal: the business in question is owned by the wife of a serving member of the Presidential Advisory Committee on BEE. It also happens to be 100% black female-owned, meaning it would have soared through authentic BEE compliance. Experts say up to 5% of all BEE certificates are invalid. By REBECCA DAVIS.

It was the French philosopher Baudrillard who argued that modern human experience is merely a simulation of reality. In South Africa we may be getting a pretty good grasp of that concept. Consider, if you will, the litany of fraudulence and fakery to which we’ve been exposed over little more than a month.
We’ve seen a fake sign language interpreter shame us in front of the world. We’ve seen a fake destitute person accept a free house from the EFF. We’ve had a North West Premier with a fake CV. We’ve seen Johannesburg motorists buy fake number plates to avoid paying e-tolls.
Life in South Africa, or a reasonable facsimile thereof. But you can’t always have your fake and eat it. Ikhono Communications has become the latest company exposed, in this case by Business Day, for having faked its BEE certificate. The matter likely wouldn’t have made headlines if it hadn’t been for the awkward fact of its association – via marriage of its owner – with Don Mkhwanazi, who sits on the presidentially-appointed Broad-Based Economic Empowerment Advisory Council. (According to the Department of Trade and Industrywebsite, another council member is former National Youth Development Agency chair Andile Lungisa, who faces charges of fraud and money laundering.)
South African companies, depending on their annual turnover, require either a BEE exemption certificate or a BEE compliance certificate from an accredited BEE verification agency. Businesses with a turnover of R5 million and below are classed as Exempt Micro Enterprises (EMEs). Those with a turnover of between R5 million and R35 million need to meet 4 out of 7 BEE elements – which take into account the racial composition of ownership and management; employment equity; and aspects like CSI and procurement – and need a BEE plan and a compliance certificate. Companies with a turnover exceeding R35 million need to comply with all seven elements and need a BEE plan and a compliance certificate.
Because Ikhono Communications had impeccable BEE credentials, Business Day notes that the business’ only possible motivation for faking its BEE verification certificate would have been a desire to avoid the cost of having the company re-validated every year, as is required by the BEE codes. Other high-profile incidents of BEE fraud over the last few years have seen companies fake certificates in order to avoid having to comply with the BEE codes themselves.
In August last year, for instance, the Mail & Guardian exposed a company called First Strut for faking its empowerment credentials. First Strut had held major contracts with Sasol, and boasted a forged verification certificate from legitimate verification firm Veri-Com. The details of the firm’s ownership were brazenly incorrect: it claimed, for instance, to have 50% black owners, when in fact it had 0% black owners.
Keith Levenstein, CEO of EconoBEE, says he has seen some pretty audacious attempts at BEE certificate fraud. “We have seen a certificate that awarded eight points for socio-economic development – when there are only five available. It’s like forging a $12 bill,” Levenstein told the Daily Maverick. “On confronting the company they expressed ignorance and admitted that they were approached by someone at the DTI’s offices and paid R2000 for the certificate at the local Wimpy.”
Another company, Levenstein says, pretended that their turnover was less than R5 million, rendering them exempt from BEE compliance. “It was not difficult to discover from their website that the company employs 4,500 people, has eight branches and does R1 billion turnover.”
Levenstein says that probably 2 to 5 BEE certificates out of 100 are flawed or invalid, but many slip through the cracks. “During verification, an agency will check a small sample, and even then, if they don’t have more history regarding previous certificates, the analyst will miss an invalid certificate.” When companies do get caught, they can be charged with fraud. The B-BBEE Amendment Bill makes allowances for penalties of up to 10 years in jail and 10% of a company’s annual turnover.
Why risk it? “Mostly laziness, or a lack of knowledge of the codes,” surmises Levenstein. “Companies need a certificate and can’t be bothered to go through the process, so they take a shortcut. The most common excuses we hear when we catch the company are ‘I didn’t know’, or ‘My consultant did it’, or ‘My operations manager did it’. It’s difficult to prove that the owner knew that it was wrong.” In addition, of course, there are those companies which would rather cheat than become genuinely BEE compliant. Levenstein says that there aren’t particular industries which are worse offenders than others.
When the new BEE codes come into effect, likely next year, we may see an upturn in BEE certificate fraud because the conditions for compliance are more onerous. “Companies will take shortcuts,” predicts Levenstein. “We expect to see many companies pretending their turnover is less than R50 million and [that they are] 51% black-owned. Also, because the new codes are unclear, companies will ask for more lenient interpretations from agencies.”
Of course, BEE certificate fraud is far from a victim-less crime. “A good certificate results in more business,” Levenstein says. “In government tenders there is a direct link between BEE levels and the awarding of tenders. Quite simply, someone cheating may take business away from someone else.” Black Economic Empowerment, or an unreasonable facsimile thereof. DM
Read more:
  • Presidential BEE adviser link to fake certificate, in Business Day
Photo: A few out of hundreds of BEE certificates available in South Africa today.






Monday, January 27, 2014

Candy(dates) everybody wants: The politics of party lists

No Fear No Favour No Candy Coated Bullshit........

Shephen Grottes South Africa 28 January 2014  00:14

In politics, some things are hard, and some are even harder. In a game that is all about making choices, any single wrong one can have an impact upon you, your party, and your country, for many years to come. This is one of the reasons why political parties under our system, where party bosses essentially choose a list of candidates to represent it in Parliament, have to manage this process so carefully. Everyone is going to fight for their space, and their place in Parliament, or provincial legislature. But you also have to make sure that all the various constituencies are balanced. And that's before you actually go about making sure your party list is attractive for voters. But for frustrated Gwede Mantashes everywhere, there is at least some solace. By STEPHEN GROOTES.

If you are a political party in our current space, there are a few things you have to get right, when forming your parliamentary lists. You can't provide a list of just white men, or just black men, or too much of one gender or the other. You have to be "representative", as these are the men and women who will represent you in Parliament, and therefore they should reflect the voters that you're hoping to attract. In some respects, we're making progress. The DA's list, which was released over the weekend, does appear to be racially representative. Certainly, it would be hard to say that there are not enough black people on it. And the fact that it is currently led by a woman, and has women well represented in its leaderships structures, helps to insulate it somewhat from claims of a gender bias towards men. Even when the ANC seems to manage to get fifty/fifty gender representation, or as close as politically possible to it.
The other thing parties have to do, before they even start to balance out the various factions within them, is to make sure they have representation from all nine provinces. Anyone know any political leader from the Northern Cape apart from serial co-accused John Block? How about a leader from Kwa-Zulu/Natal who's not with the ANC? See how hard it is?
Now, this is before we even consider competence. The DA, of course, makes much of this element. It likes to portray itself as the party that can deliver, and thus it seems to expect much of its MPs. Officials say they go through a "gruelling multi-layered" selection process, whatever that means. The aim here is to be able to claim that, with Team Zille, you're getting competence, and that with Team Luthuli House, you're getting politics as usual. It's fun for a press release, but it makes certain questions hard to answer.
If, for example, National Prosecuting Authority senior prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach were selected because she went through this process with flying colours, can we presume that a space has been kept open for Agang leader Dr Mamphela Ramphele because of her success in this system? Whatever your view of her political failings, it would be hard to accuse her of a lack of dignity. (And that's putting it mildly.) And thinking of her sitting down to write another party's exam is about as easy as imagining Julius Malema getting election help from Mac Maharaj.
So it simply cannot be that every candidate went through this process. Because, as in all political processes, there is a strong element of politics. You cannot ignore some people because of who they represent. The ANC had this problem in 2009. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela desperately wanted to return to Parliament. She was obviously popular within the party, having come first on the list of NEC members at Polokwane eighteen months before. But everyone knew she would be a disaster in Parliament itself. However, Luthuli House buckled, and as sure as eggs are eggs, she ended up at number five on their list. And predictions about her performance in Parliament turned out to be true.
For both main parties, there is a set of equations that make life quite difficult. Take the ANC's dilemma. Obviously the number one spot goes to Number One, and the number two spot goes to Cyril Ramaphosa. Then what happens after that? Technically, the NEC decides, after consulting with a whole variety of provinces and parts of the party. Every step is intensely political. But in the final analysis, if you accept that President Jacob Zuma got the NEC he wanted at Mangaung, the final decisions will be up to him and his close allies.
But they are still limited. For example, they cannot give KZN too much representation. There is already too much talk about the "Zulu-fication" of the ANC and government. Zuma doesn't want a new crop of T-shirts with the legend "100% Zulufied" on them. He has to make sure he looks like he's giving everyone a fair shake. But he can't give his enemies too much room to move, either. If he does that, he may give them positions from which they could later attack and harm him. And the claim that provinces get to decide who will become premiers, which was a promise he appeared to make at Polokwane, is, of course, nonsense. Again, in 2009, the NEC told provinces to each give them three names as their candidates for premier, and the NEC would make the final decision. The Gauteng ANC said publicly its three candidates were Paul Mashatile, Paul Mashatile and Paul Mashatile. What happened? The NEC decided on Nomvula Mokonyane. Which is the final evidence, if you needed it, that Zuma is prepared to stop certain things from happening.
Amid all of this talk of representation of groups and factions and races, two things get left out. The first is that coloured people generally will probably be under-represented amid the lists of both the big parties. There are more coloured people than white people in South Africa now, and it's unlikely that you will see that on these lists.
The second is much more subtle, but becoming a more important aspect. It's that virtually everyone on both these lists will be middle-class. Almost all of them will now live in an urban area, and live a middle-class life. Some of them will have come from working-class or rural poor backgrounds. Particularly some of the older ANC candidates. But generally speaking, virtually all of them will drive a nice car before they get on the list.
On one level, so what? It's the same in most countries. You go into politics after securing your financial future. But in a country like ours, where the majority is so much poorer than the minority, it has to be asked if we can really say our Parliament does represent the people, when all we do is look at the colours of faces, and now how they and their families actually live. As I say, it's a fact of life almost everywhere, but it could matter more here somehow.
While this problem is probably something the DA will live with, it may actually leave the ANC open to attack. The decision by the metalworkers union NUMSA to leave the alliance over what is basically a class and economic policy dispute, is a part of the process of our politics moving away from race, and towards class. NUMSA could well take a look at the ANC's final list, and make some serious criticisms of it, based on its class reading of society. They won't bother with the DA - that's not the voting pool their "workers formation" could be fishing in in 2019. But it could be worth their while to stoke the ANC a little on this.
Having said all of this, there is some solace for party bosses involved in this process. It is this: Most voters don't care who's on the party list. They just vote for the brand, and the face next to the party's name. It may seem heartless to write off difficult political equations like that, but that's politics. DM
Grootes is the senior political reporter for Eyewitness News, and the host of the Midday Report on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He's also the author of SA Politics Unspun.
Photo: ANC supporters at the launch of the party's 2014 election manifesto at the Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, Saturday, 11 January 2014. Picture: SAPA stringer










'Elections need to be monitored'

No Fear No Favour No Rigging Elections........

27-JAN-2014 | SAPA

"If these allegations are true then South African citizens face the prospect of African National Congress-aligned thugs threatening our hard-won right to free and fair elections," party leader Mamphela Ramphele said in a statement.

There is an urgent need for independent monitors during the elections after claims that some voters in the Tlokwe by-elections in the North West were not legitimate, Agang SA said on Monday.
"If these allegations are true then South African citizens face the prospect of African National Congress-aligned thugs threatening our hard-won right to free and fair elections," party leader Mamphela Ramphele said in a statement.
"The fact is, this type of behaviour is typical of individuals who realise that their hold on political power is weakening."
She claimed that Tlokwe was another demonstration of rampant corruption and self-interest displayed by some members of the ANC.
According to City Press on Sunday, eight independent candidates at the Tlokwe municipality had alleged in court papers that hundreds, if not thousands, of voters in the area were not legitimate.
The electoral court in Bloemfontein next month will hear a court application by the independent candidates to have the election result set aside and an independent investigation to be conducted.
The newspaper reported that court papers submitted by the independent candidates alleged that at least 500 voters were registered at addresses outside the ward areas, and at least 600 had provided false or incomplete addresses on voter registration forms.
Other allegations included that 31 people from other areas were re-registered in the contested wards and transported to the Tlokwe area to vote in the elections.
In responding papers, the Independent Electoral Commission's chief electoral officer Mosoto Moepya said: "No evidential material has been brought before the court in support of the allegations".
The ANC retained six wards in by-elections which took place in the highly contested region in December last year.
Ramphele said it was evident that non-performance and empty promises were taking their toll and voters were beginning to vote against the ruling party.
"If Tlokwe is a symptom of the panic within the ANC then we need to be on our guard against more widespread electoral fraud in the general elections this year," she said.

Sowetan News


 Was the Independent Electoral Commission's chief electoral officer SA ever INDEPENDENT, free and fair since 1994?



De Kock helps NPA search for victim

No Fear No Favour no Amnesty......

J @City_Press26 January 2014 14:00

Former Vlakplaas commander is expecting to be freed soon
In a bid to secure his parole, apartheid death squad commander Eugene de Kock is helping the National Prosecuting Authority search for the body of a young man he murdered 29 years ago.
He’s also hoping to get a job at the NPA once he is freed.
It’s been revealed that the parole of the former Vlakplaas commander was recommended by both the Parole Board and the National Advisory Council on Correctional Services.
“Eugene is definitely being released,” said Dr Piet Croucamp, political scientist at the University of Johannesburg who has been working for De Kock’s release over the past five years.
“We don’t have a date yet, but it will be soon,” he said.
But the family of murdered ANC lawyer Bheki Mlangeni were shocked that they had to find out about De Kock’s parole through media reports, saying they were never consulted.
Mlangeni was killed at his home in Soweto in 1991 by a parcel bomb concealed in a Walkman. The package was meant for former Vlakplaas operative turned-ANC-member, Dirk Coetzee.
Mlangeni’s widow, Sepati, said: “I know nothing about this. I’m hearing this for the first time. The least they could have done was contact the family.
“This will also devastate my son, who is out of the country, when he hears this. I am shocked. I don’t know what to say.”
Mlangeni’s mother Catherine, who could not be reached yesterday, spoke strongly last year against any parole for De Kock.
He wrote the family a letter apologising for the murder and asked to meet them.
In the past four years, De Kock has regularly been “booked” out of Pretoria Central’s Medium B prison to help the NPA search for missing children.
Croucamp said De Kock hopes to work for the NPA in some capacity after his release.
In May, it will be 20 years since he was arrested for a series of murders he committed while head of the police hit squad at Vlakplaas.
De Kock was found guilty of six murders and a series of other crimes in October 1996 after a protracted court case. He was sentenced to life plus 212 years in prison.
As part of his parole bid, De Kock launched a search for the body of security guard Japie Maponya, whom he killed with a spade in Swaziland in 1985.
Vlakplaas kidnapped Maponya because they believed he knew where his brother, a suspected Umkhonto weSizwe soldier, was hiding.
Japie was brutally tortured and taken to the South Africa-Swaziland border.
The Maponya family has always been opposed to De Kock’s release, but has now apparently asked to meet him.
De Kock’s previous parole application was denied, partly because some of his victims’ families wanted him to stay in jail.
Croucamp confirmed he was involved in the search for Maponya’s body and went to Swaziland to look for it using maps De Kock drew. He has not yet been successful.
City Press was told that De Kock was taken to the border to help with the search.
After his conviction in October 1996, De Kock met most of his victims’ relatives and asked for forgiveness, which was usually granted.
The only obstacle to De Kock’s freedom could be an evaluation the State Security Agency is now doing regarding possible security risks around his release.
The Parole Board said there was an overall consensus that he should be released.
“According to the social worker’s report, the offender will not commit similar crimes again. According to the psychologist’s report, he understands his crimes,” the board said.
Asked for comment, De Kock said: “Out of respect for the families affected, I do not want to get involved in a discussion about my parole application.” – Additional reporting Xolani Mbanjwa

Former Vlakplaas commander is expecting to be freed soon
In a bid to secure his parole, apartheid death squad commander Eugene de Kock is helping the National Prosecuting Authority search for th


  • Dave Ndaba
    Let this murderer of the innocents serve at least 25 years. It is rather too soon to release him after serving a mere 17 years. The bastard has to serve another 8 years before being released to society.
  • uSkhumba
    I’m shocked that our government is even considering releasing this monster to our society. The psychologist says: “He understands his crime…” Of course he does. So how is that a motivation for his release? He says “out of respect for families affected…..” Since when has De Kock developed this deep respect for black families. I cannot comprehend how a person who has committed such heinous crimes against humanity can even expect us, especially, black people in SA to have a dialogue with him. In my opinion men like him deserve to rot in jail. He does not deserve to be heard.
  • Craig Ford
    I don’t believe this man should be released and with some luck get a job in the NPA. Rubbish. He made choices to kill people, he was never forced. If he did not want to get involved, as a white person under apartheid he could have chosen to do any other kind of work. Keep the scum locked up!
  • J x
    De Kock must have made the blind see and healed the sick for him to be released this early.
  • 1Moithuti0
    As they say, correctional services are put in place for corrective measure, not punishment (I still have my doubts). The man has done his time, let him go, and yes, in principle, they should have at the least consulted his victims’ families.
    As for the job at the NPA, what the fuck for? Why do we continue to reward thugs and murderers?
  • Jon Quirk
    He was just a foot soldier; on the subject of serious killing, what efforts were ever made to find the killers of around 89 persons killed a few years ago during the security guards strike by throwing them off trains?
    Why is there no consistency in our policies?
  • Yvonne Horak
    All the farm murders, the rapists, those that kill during burglaries must also sit for life.! He did not kill
    women and children in their own homes etc. He was in the Police and Mkhonto would have killed him and any other police and any soldiers as well. They even bombed Innocent Civilians,caused hundreds of Innocent deaths and maiming hundreds, and shot up unarmed Innocent people in a church with ak’s ,hand grenades etc. He was virtually a soldier under orders. Then Mc Bride and all the others must go and sit for the next 18 years or so as well. THEY killed more than him! What about the family members of those they killed? BIG difference he did not bomb or kill Innocent unarmed women and children and citizens of all races ! Big difference.!



If Eugene De Kock was an ANC MK Cadres he would have been in Parliament a long time ago without serving a prison sentence.

The decision to refuse him parole has always been political and not on conduct.