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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Apartheid death-squad leader Eugene de Kock, dubbed "Prime Evil" for his role in the torture and murder of black South African activists in the 1980s and early 1990s, was denied parole on Thursday. As head of an apartheid counter-insurgency unit, de Kock is believed to have been responsible for more atrocities than any other man in the efforts to preserve white minority rule. He has spent the last 20 years in prison.
Arrested in 1994, the year Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress came to power, he was sentenced two years later to 212 years in prison on charges ranging from murder and attempted murder to kidnapping and fraud. De Kok has expressed sorrow at his actions and two years ago wrote to the mother of ANC lawyer Bheki Mlangeni, who was killed by a bomb in 1991, asking for her forgiveness.