Derby-Lewis to undergo another operation

Clive Derby-Lewis is to undergo another operation on Tuesday to remove a cancerous growth from his head, his lawyer said.

“It’s to remove the cancer from his right temple and see how deep the growth is. It’s a bit worrying because the growth seems to go right down to his skull,” Marius Coertze said on Monday.

Derby-Lewis is serving a 25-year sentence for his part in the murder of South African Communist Party secretary general Chris Hani.

Coertze said a medical report on Derby-Lewis’ condition was received on Friday. The 74-year-old had a successful skin graft on his right leg last week.
He had to undergo two operations after he bumped his leg on an iron bed base in a hospital corridor, causing a severe infection in his leg.

The danger of losing his leg had lessened, the lawyer said.

While being examined, doctors also found Derby-Lewis, who had served 17 years of his term, needed treatment for skin cancer and for prostate gland problems. No further tests were conducted on the prostate, Coertze said.

“That will be done in another week or so ... the doctor did not want to put too much stress on the patient’s body,” he said.

Derby-Lewis remained chained to his bed, but was allowed to walk around his room and along an adjoining passage at intervals.

According to the department of correctional services, a final decision on whether Derby-Lewis would get parole should be taken by the National Council on Correctional Services at the end of October.

Hani was shot in the head as he climbed out of his car at his home in Dawn Bark, Boksburg on April 10, 1993, a year before South Africa’s first democratic elections.

The killer, Polish immigrant Janusz Walus, used a pistol Derby-Lewis, a Conservative Party MP at the time, had lent him.

The two were convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder and sentenced to death. This was commuted to life imprisonment in 1995, when capital punishment was abolished.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission rejected their bid for amnesty on the grounds they could not prove the murder was politically-motivated and that they had not made a full disclosure.

The Congress of SA Trade Unions, the Democratic Alliance and the SACP were among those opposing his bid for parole.

Walus was also still serving his 25-year term. - Sapa