Department disputes Derby-Lewis report

"The final court order was rejected and the final decision of the court [on Friday] was for normal department procedures to be followed," said department spokesman Manelisi Wolela.

Earlier the Saturday Star reported that the court ordered Derby-Lewis be transported to hospital for medical attention after he was stabbed in prison. "Eventually, the court ordered that my client be transported to hospital and that the DCS [the department of correctional services] cover all the costs thereof," Marius Coetze, the attorney for Derby-Lewis, was quoted as saying in the newspaper.

Wolela said the wife of Derby-Lewis submitted an application to the court on Wednesday afternoon, requesting that her husband be taken for medical treatment to a private medical facility. "Even offender Derby-Lewis was taken by surprise and did not instruct anyone and [wants to] have nothing to do with the application," Wolela said in a statement.

Wolela said the wife's order was initially granted on Wednesday, but overturned on Friday. "Mrs Derby-Lewis and her lawyer sought the court [action] to override the prescribed correctional services processes…" Wolela said the court told Coetze he was wrong to force Derby-Lewis to do something he did not want to do.

"The court instructed the attorney to resolve the matter with correctional services and to follow the prescribed procedures [and] complete the forms…" said Wolela. Wolela said if Derby-Lewis wanted to go to hospital he would need to follow the department's procedures first.

Independent Newspapers group executive editor Karima Brown referred queries to the Saturday Star editor, who could not be reached for comment. – Sapa

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