Derby-Lewis’s wife cautions SACP on ‘wider conspiracies’

Clive Derby-Lewis’s wife Gaye on Wednesday warned the SACP and Chris Hani’s widow against making claims about “wider conspiracies” involved in Hani’s murder.

The SA Communist Party and Limpho Hani were expected to make submissions to Justice Minister Michael Masutha on January 9 on why Clive Derby-Lewis should not be urgently granted medical parole. 

They have in the past maintained that Clive Derby-Lewis never revealed the full truth about the SACP general secretary’s murder in front of his Boksburg home on April 10 1993 by Polish immigrant Janusz Walus.

“We wish to caution the second and third correspondents that if their submission contains assertions of wider conspiracies and no proof is provided, then they are guilty of defeating the ends of justice, and we will lay charges on that basis against them,” Gaye Derby-Lewis said in an open letter to Hani and the SACP.

Her 78-year-old husband, who is serving a life sentence, has spent the last 22 years behind bars for providing the gun Walus used to kill Hani. Derby-Lewis’s medical parole application was heard before the High Court in Pretoria on December 2, but was postponed when Masutha reached an agreement about when the application would be considered. 

Derby-Lewis was admitted to hospital months ago suffering from a range of medical problems. He has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, which, according to his attorney Marius Coertze, was inoperable because he was too weak to survive surgery.

Coertze said a scan showed one of his lungs was already riddled with cancer and about to collapse. He had been given only months to live, but correctional services had been dragging its heels on his release since May, Coertze said.

Amnesty declined
An application that Derby-Lewis and Walus made for amnesty was turned down by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1999 because they failed to make full disclosure of the political motive for the murder. Derby-Lewis has made various bids for parole since June 2010. 

Coertze claimed that administrative incompetence and political interference were behind his repeated failure to secure parole. The court has ordered Masutha to consider Derby-Lewis’s application for medical parole by no later than January 31 next year, and refer back to Coertze. – Sapa

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