Justice Minister puts brakes on Bob Hewitt’s release

15:04 (GMT+2) Sun, 15 Sep 2019

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, has called for a review of the decision to grant parole to disgraced former tennis ace, Bob Hewitt.

It emerged this weekend that Hewitt would be placed on parole on 23 September after the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board received an application for consideration in August.

He would be placed under the "High-Risk category" for the duration of his parole, which will end on 19 September 2022.

Hewitt was convicted in 2016 of raping two teenagers and sexually assaulting a third while he was their coach in the 1980s and '90s.

He was sentenced to six years in prison.

But, in a statement on Sunday, the Justice Ministry said that after studying the decision by the parole board, Minister Lamola noted “with grave concern the lack of participation by the victims of crimes in the parole consideration process”.

“It is critical that the justice system in all its facets pays a considerable amount of attention to the victim centric approach, as envisioned in national framework on sexual offenses of 2012,” the Ministry said.

Minister Lamola has now instructed the National Commissioner of Correctional Services, Arthur Fraser, to take the matter on a review with the Correctional Supervision and Parole Review Board.

The Justice Ministry said that in terms of the Correctional Services Act, referring this matter for a review “will mean that a date of placement for inmate Hewitt is now suspended.”