Despite reports that convicted rapist and former tennis player and coach Bob Hewitt will not yet be released on parole, the Citizen can confirm that he will indeed be released on parole on September 23.
This is according to lawyer Tania Koen who represents one of his victims, Olivia Jasriel.
“Written confirmation was sent to one of the victims on Friday (letter dated 12 [September]) that Hewitt is being released on 23 September,” said Koen.
While there was a parole hearing, Koen said her client was not informed. Her interpretation of the Correctional Services Act is that the hearing should not have taken place without the knowledge of the victims.
She also believes that Hewitt’s release, especially given the country’s current mood regarding sexual assault and gender-based violence, will “send the wrong message to society.”
According to national department of correctional services (DCS) spokesperson Singabakho Nxumalo, the proper processes were not adhered to with regards to the parole hearing and as such the outcome of the parole process was not yet meant to be public knowledge.
In a follow-up official response, Nxumalo included confirmation that Hewitt was indeed eligible for parole but Nxumalo apparently denied that a final decision had been made.
“DCS will be guided by the recommendations of correctional supervision and parole board on either to grant or deny Mr Hewitt parole at this stage.
“The offender has indeed served the minimum required time to be considered for parole by the board.
“Once the decision has been made, it will [be] communicated to the parties involved, which includes the offender, victims of crime and their families.”
(Background reporting, Daniel Friedman)