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Calls for Station Strangler to be released after 30-year prisoner stint

2 min read
28 September 2022

Several activists and organisations are calling for releasing one of South Africa’s most notorious serial killers, Norman “Afzal” Simons.

Simons was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1995 after the bodies of 22 young boys in shallow graves were discovered on the Cape Flats between 1986 and 1994.

But he was only convicted of the kidnapping and murder of one of the boys, ten-year-old Elroy van Rooyen.

After serving 28 years of his life sentence, crime fighters, activists, and the SA Human Rights Commission are calling for his release.

Commissioner Chris Nissen, speaking to Radio Islam International, says many activists and organisations are not demanding the release of the notorious serial killer. Instead, they ask that he be allowed to exercise his right to parole with the condition that he confesses to the victim’s families to allow them closure for their children’s death.

Furthermore, he said it is also within the victims’ families’ rights to know what happened to their children, who died 30 years ago.

Nissen said that he could not confirm whether Simons was the “Station Strangler”; therefore, they are asking Correctional Services to grant him an opportunity to confess.

However, he said police should investigate if there were any copycat murders at that time so that they could open those cold cases and investigate the matter.

Nissen said the system had failed the victims and their parents.

He said until recently, nothing has been done at the Cape Flats regarding the children, no memorial stone or annual commemoration whatsoever.

“Only now, 30 years later that we are starting to talk about those children, the system has failed them, so that is why we are asking the correctional services that before the offender wants to be released, he must come before the victim’s families and engage with them,” he said.

Nissen added that there could be more bodies that were not found, which is a chance for him to reveal them if there were other bodies.

He emphasises that the law should be allowed to take its cause, arguing that it is not within his right but a privilege that he must be given a chance to speak and apply for parole.

He said the state and communities are responsible for honouring the children that died 30 years ago.
[LISTEN] to the podcast here

By Nokwanda Dlangamandla



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