Apartheid hitman to know his fate soon

THE high court in Pretoria has given Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula 10 days to decide whether Almond Nofemela, pictured, should be released on parole.

THE high court in Pretoria has given Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula 10 days to decide whether Almond Nofemela, pictured, should be released on parole.

Nofemela's lawyer Julian White said yesterday: "The minister must either say yes or no."

The former apartheid-era police officer was on death row when his exposé of apartheid hit squads gave him a reprieve. However, he still had to serve a life sentence for the murder of Johannes Lourens on his farm near Brits.

In terms of the Correctional Services Act, any person sentenced to life in prison before October 1 2004 is entitled to be considered for parole after serving at least 20 years of the sentence.

After 21 years behind bars, Nofemela's case was submitted to the national council of Correctional Services for consideration and parole was recommended.

Earlier, the department said that the minister was considering the matter, but Knight said Nofemela's attempt at parole has taken at least two years and that he just wanted an answer. - Sapa

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