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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Correctional Services will investigate 'lion man's' soft parole at police station

By unknown | Sep 04, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

The Department of Correctional Services says it will investigate allegations that Hoedspruit farmer Mark Scott-Crossley is contravening his parole conditions.

"The policy is very clear. Should there be evidence that he has broken parole conditions, his parole will be revoked," departmental spokesman Manelisi Wolela said yesterday.

A Sowetan investigation revealed that while black parolees were sweating it out at the Acornhoek police station, Scott-Crossley was seen strolling around with a police officer who is assigned to monitor him.

When Scott-Crossley realised that the Sowetan team was present, he dashed into a nearby building to avoid being photographed.

The officer in charge, known only as Mushwana, ordered that no pictures of Scott-Crossley be taken.

"The man has suffered a lot, why don't you at least leave him alone?" pleaded Mushwana.

Scott-Crossley was released on parole two weeks ago after he had served half of the five years he was sentenced to for throwing his ex-employee, Nelson Chisale, to the lions.

Initially, Scott-Crossley was sentenced to life imprisonment for Chisale's death. The Supreme Court of Appeal reduced the sentence after it had found that the state did not prove beyond reasonable doubt that Chisale was alive when he was thrown into the lion's enclosure.

His release raised controversy, with Chisale's family questioning how "someone who had committed such a heinous crime could be paroled, leaving people who had committed petty crimes incarcerated".

Parliamentarians called for the Department of Correctional Services to review Scott-Crossley's parole after ANC MP Dennis Bloom reported that more than 100 prisoners at Barberton prison who were supposed to have been considered before him were overlooked.

The Chisale family also called for Scott-Crossley's co-accused Simon Mathebula to be released from prison.

Mathebula is currently serving 12 years in prison for his role in Chisale's death.

Sowetan readers who participated in a poll run by the newspaper last week have also added their voice - calling for Mathebula's release.

The results of the snap survey revealed that 226 (74percent) of the 335 participants wanted Mathebula to be released. Only 15 (4,61percent) said Mathebula should stay in prison. Another 84 of the participants gave the wrong answer and their response was regarded as spoilt.

Yesterday, Wolela said the department would be guided by the decision of the court before granting Mathebula parole.

"The court sentenced him to 15 years in prison, therefore he has to serve at least half of that sentence before he could be eligible for parole," said Wolela.


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