Justice & Correctional Services minister, Ronald Lamola, wants a review of former tennis ace Bob Hewitt’s parole. Hewitt has been granted parole and is due to be released on 23 September.
One of the victims has written to the deputy minister to review the decision.
In September 2015, the North Gauteng High Court sentenced Hewitt to six years in jail. He was convicted of rape and sexual assault of minors. His victims were girls he coached in the 1980’s and 90’s.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame expelled him.
His victim’s lawyer, Tania Koen, has made a plea to the ministry to set the release aside.
“We all have constitutional rights; the rights of the victims should also be honoured and respected by the law. The victims were not informed; the law was not complied with. The other aspect of it is that rape in South Africa has reached pandemic proportions. The rape of children should be condemned in the highest form.”
According to spokesperson for the Minister, Chrispin Phiri, Lamola says it’s important to afford the victims and their families an opportunity to participate in the offender’s parole process.
“The Minister has learnt with some concern that the decision to release Mr Bob Hewitt on parole was done without following the due process which is to make sure the victims are given an opportunity to make representation in this regard. In light of the above, the Minister has instructed the National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Arthur Fraser, to take the matter on review with the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board as per section 77 of the Correctional Services Act.”
Until this happens, Hewitt will remain in jail.
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