Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Another chance at parole for Derby-Lewis

The medical parole board has again recommended that Chris Hani’s killer Clive Derby-Lewis be released, his wife said on Tuesday.

“I do not know how to feel. It has happened four times before and each time it was blocked by the government. I do not know if the minister is going to release him,” Gaye Derby-Lewis said.

Clive Derby-Lewis’s lawyers in 2014 launched an urgent application at the high court in Pretoria in yet another bid to secure his release on medical parole.

The 78-year-old has lung cancer and was assaulted in prison last year. Previous medical parole bids were unsuccessful.

The application was postponed indefinitely after Derby-Lewis and the justice and correctional services minister reached an agreement about when his application for medical parole would be considered.

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

He said a scan of Derby-Lewis’s lungs showed one lung was already riddled with cancer and about to collapse.

Coertze said Derby-Lewis had been given only months to live, but correctional services had been dragging its heels on his release since May.

‘Incompetence’
Judge Andre Louw granted an order, joining the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Hani’s widow Limpho as respondents in the application.

Derby-Lewis claimed in court papers administrative incompetence was the cause of his rapidly declining health, and political interference behind his repeated failure to secure parole.

Coertze said the fact that the SACP and Hani became involved proved his client was being treated as a political prisoner and not like any other inmate serving life imprisonment.

Louw ordered the medical parole board to consider all medical reports applicable to Derby-Lewis by December 10 2014 and to provide the minister with a written recommendation by December 15.

Minister Michael Masutha was ordered to consider Derby-Lewis’s application for medical parole by no later than January 31 this year, along with the representations of the SACP and Hani.

The SACP and Hani had until January 9 to submit their representations to Masutha. Masutha was ordered to provide Coertze with reasons for his decision by no later than January 31.

Hani’s murder
Derby-Lewis was convicted for the murder of Hani, who was SACP general secretary. He was shot dead in the driveway of his Boksburg home on April 10 1993 and it was found that Janusz Walus, a Polish immigrant, pulled the trigger.

Derby-Lewis was convicted of being a co-conspirator and supplying the gun used by Walus, who had courted Hani for some time before the murder, even approaching him in a hotel while pretending to be a journalist. 

Walus told the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC): “I did not want to shoot him in the back. I called to Mr Hani. When he turned I fired the first shot into his body. As he turned and fell down, I fired a second shot at his head.”

Refused amnesty
Derby-Lewis and Walus applied but were refused amnesty by the TRC on April 7 1999.  The TRC’s amnesty committee said the two had failed to make a full disclosure of the political motives for the murder, as it was “common cause” they were not acting under instruction from the Conservative Party, as they had claimed.

The committee found Walus was acting on instructions from Derby-Lewis.

Having been refused amnesty from prosecution by the TRC, Walus and Derby-Lewis were sentenced to death for Hani’s murder in 1993. Their sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment after the abolition of the death penalty. – Sapa, Staff reporter

Subscribe to the M&G

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them.

Sapa
Guest Author

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Mbeki tells ANC that land without compensation goes against the...

‘This would be a very serious disincentive to investment,’ says Thabo Mbeki in a document arguing that the ANC should not proceed with the Constitutional amendment of section 25

Micro-hydropower lights up an Eastern Cape village

There is hidden potential for small hydropower plants in South Africa

More top stories

Gigaba says it was ‘an unfortunate coincidence’ SOEs were captured...

The former public enterprises minister says he was at a deliberate remove from state companies’ dealings and could not have learned of the looting

SIU freezes R22-million in Digital Vibes accounts

The Special Investigating Unit said it would ask the tribunal to declare the health department’s contract with the company unlawful

Life-saving free train travel offered to domestic abuse victims in...

A pioneering railway scheme in the UK is helping domestic violence victims to escape their abusers by providing them with free travel to reach refuge

Oral submissions to inquiry on local government elections start next...

The hearings will be open to the media and the public, under strict level-three regulations
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×