Derby-Lewis's cancer operation 'successful'

The operation to remove a cancerous growth from Clive Derby-Lewis’s head was a success, a spokesperson for his lawyer said on Wednesday.

“They removed the piece of cancer yesterday [Tuesday]. He’s in a stable condition, the doctor said the operation was successful,” said Elsabe Juyn, spokesperson in the office of Derby-Lewis’s attorney.

She said the lawyer, Marius Coertze, was in consultation with his client on Wednesday.

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

A medical report on Derby-Lewis’s 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.

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. These tests would be done next week.

Parole decision
According to the correctional services department, 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 South African 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

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