Clive Derby-Lewis may face fraud charges

2015-01-30 12:40

Justice Minister Michael Masutha is yet to decide whether to lay fraud charges against Clive Derby-Lewis – the assassin of the late SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani – for misrepresenting his medical records in his bid to receive medical parole.

Derby-Lewis, 79, was denied medical parole by Masutha today after the latter said government discovered that name on the pathologist’s report was not that of Derby-Lewis.

Masutha was announcing his decisions on Derby-Lewis, Ferdi Barnard and Eugene de Kock’s parole applications in Pretoria today when he revealed Derby-Lewis’ allegedly fraudulent medical report which had another person’s name on it.

Masutha granted parole to De Kock, who gained notoriety during Apartheid for the gruesome methods he used to torture and kill political opponents.

But Masutha said he needed more time to consider Barnard’s parole application as he was awaiting the report to ascertain whether he met the preconditions for parole.

Masutha would not reveal the date on which De Kock will be released after the latter, who has been denied parole in the past, asked the department not to publicise it in the media.

Masutha cited “nation building”, the fact that he had consulted the families of his victims, some of whom were not against his release, as some of the reasons he granted him correctional supervision.

But Masutha was scathing of Derby-Lewis and said that he was uncertain whether he had shown remorse for killing Hani in order to plunge the country into a civil war when he assassinated him on April 10 1993 on the eve of South Africa’s first democratic elections.

Masutha said Derby-Lewis’ explanation that he used a pseudonym to hide his identity when he went to see a pathologist did not hold water as the department managed to prove that the name on the medical report was real and that the patient had indeed visited the hospital on the same day as Derby-Lewis claimed.

“Upon further perusal of the medical reports, I established that the name on the pathologist’s report is not that of the offender Clive Derby-Lewis. In an affidavit he submitted to the Medical Parole Advisory Board he states that he used a different name for security reasons. It also appears from his affidavit that coincidentally another patient bearing the name used by the offender was admitted at the same hospital during his admission for treatment for a similar medical condition. This prompted him to revert to an earlier pseudonym that he used when he was first admitted. It must be stated that there are no supporting documents attached from the department in support of these name changes. This raises issues of uncertainty on the identity of the patient whose samples informed the recommendations of the board,” said Masutha.

Although the board had recommended that Derby-Lewis be released on medical grounds, Masutha said Derby-Lewis had stage 3 lung cancer and not stage 4 lung cancer which is the prerequisite to qualify for medical parole. Masutha said Derby-Lewis' own doctor said he had stage 3 lung cancer "and it is getting better". Masutha also questioned why the Medical Parole Advisory Council, which recommended Derby-Lewis' parole, could make such a recommendation based on incorrect medical reports.

He said no decision had yet been taken to charge Derby-Lewis for fraud but indicated that the department was considering it as this was a serious offence.

In 1998, Barnard was sentenced to two life terms plus 63 years for the murder of anthropologist Dr David Webster while De Kock was sentenced to multiple life terms for various murders in the early 80s.

Derby-Lewis was sentenced to life imprisonment for the 1993 murder of Chris Hani.

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