Convicted murderer Clive Derby-Lewis plans to challenge the department of correctional services on its decision not to grant him parole, his lawyer Marius Coertze said on Friday.
“We will draft court papers next week and then we will lodge a new application to the High Court in Pretoria,” Coertze said.
Earlier, the department said the Correctional Services Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula had announced that parole had been denied to Janus Walusz, the co-accused in the murder of South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani.
This was because the Hani family had not been consulted and this had to be dealt with first.
Ministry spokesperson Sonwabo Mbananga said the ministry would not be commenting on Derby-Lewis’ parole application after SAfm reported that his application had been turned down.
However, Coertze said that Derby Lewis had been told that his parole was not granted but he could reapply in 2013.
Derby-Lewis and Polish immigrant Walusz are serving life sentences for the murder of Hani in 1993, the year before South Africa’s first democratic elections.
Coertze said Derby-Lewis was still unwell. In January he was being treated for prostate cancer and skin cancer.
His supporters have compared his parole application to that of President Jacob Zuma’s former financial adviser Schabir Shaik, who was released on parole following a corruption conviction on the grounds that he had a terminal illness.
Derby-Lewis was convicted of conspiracy to murder and was initially sentenced to death for his role in Hani’s assassination, but this was changed to life imprisonment when the death penalty was outlawed in 1995.
He confessed to his role in the assassination to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, but was not granted amnesty.
The Freedom Front Plus said Derby-Lewis was being discriminated against and that the department was being inconsistent with the granting of parole. — Sapa