Court to rule on life prisoners’ parole

court to rule on life prisoners parole - Court to rule on life prisoners’ parole

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The Constitutional Court will deliver judgement on Friday whether people sentenced to life in prison before the first of October 2004 would be eligible for parole after serving 20 years.

The matter was brought to court by Oupa Phaahla who is serving a life term in Prison.

Phaahla, was convicted on September 25, 2004 but was sentenced on October 5, 2004, four days after the new parole regime took effect.

Phaahla who was convicted 14 years ago to life imprisonment wants confirmation of declaration of constitutional invalidity made by the North Gauteng High Court in  Pretoria to be declared unconstitutional.

The High Court held that these provisions amounted to an infringement of the right to equality in section 9 of the Constitution.

Under the law, anyone sentenced to life imprisonment before October 1, 2004 would be eligible for parole after serving 20 years of their sentence in prison in accordance with the old parole regime; and anyone sentenced to life imprisonment after 1 October 2004 would only be eligible for parole after serving 25 years of their sentence.

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