Parole for offenders serving life sentences has ignited questions in media reports and political circles. This complexity becomes a touchy issue when it leaves more questions than answers after the grant or decline to place offenders on parole. This article evaluates the discretion of the minister to decline to grant parole under section 78(2) of the Correctional Services Act 25 of 2008 (CSA). This contribution argues that a minister’s discretion to refuse parole needs to be re- examined in the wake of the decision in Barnard v Minister of Justice, Constitutional Development & Correctional Services and another with regard to its content and context. The paper examines the drafting history to section 78(2) of the Correctional Services Act; evaluates the bounds of the Ministerial powers, and examines its recent application in Barnard. The final step involves recommending a working framework that may reconcile the position.