Will Hani's killer walk free?

The Pretoria High Court will hand down judgement on Tuesday in the parole application of Clive Derby-Lewis, who was convicted of murdering South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Chris Hani.

Derby-Lewis (73) has served 15 years of a life sentence, after his death sentence was reduced to life imprisonment when the death penalty was abolished.

His wife, Gaye, said the court was expected to hand down its judgement on Tuesday.

Derby-Lewis’s lawyers argued that he qualified for parole because he was older than 65 and had been rehabilitated.

The Hani family opposed the parole application.

Arguing on behalf of the Hani family, George Bizos last week said the Pretoria High Court was not aware of what effects Derby-Lewis’s release would have on society, and had not been provided any information on the nature of his parole application.

“What do you know about this applicant ... does he accept the Constitution ... does he no longer consider people like Chris Hani as the Antichrist,” Bizos said raising his voice.

He maintained that it was Hani’s widow’s common-law right to make representation and since this had not been done, the matter should be dismissed with costs.

The basis of the legal debate was contention over various amendments made to the law since Derby-Lewis was convicted in 1993.

Derby-Lewis and his accomplice, Janusz Walus, were sentenced to death for the murder of the SACP leader in 1993.

Walus remains in Pretoria’s C-Max prison and does not, as yet, qualify for a parole application.—Sapa



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