Derby-Lewis parole still under review

2010-09-30 09:18

The National Council on Correctional Services (NCCS) will be reviewing the national parole board’s recommendation for Clive Derby-Lewis’s parole next month, the ministry of correctional services has said.

The NCCS chaired by Judge Thandaswa Ndita did not have the chance to review the recommendations at its previous sitting in August, spokesperson to the minister of correctional services Sonwabo Mbananga said.

“The NCCS will look at the recommendations next month and then make their own recommendations to the minister. The minister will then make a decision about his Derby-Lewis’s parole,” he said.

“The parole board can’t make the decision, they only make recommendations.”

Derby-Lewis is serving a life term for SA Communist Party secretary general Chris Hani’s murder on April 10 1993.

Hani was shot in the head as he got out of his car outside his home in Dawn Park, Boksburg, by Polish immigrant Janusz Walus, using a pistol lent to him by Derby-Lewis, a Conservative Party MP.

Walus and Derby-Lewis were convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and were sentenced to death.

However, this was commuted to life imprisonment in 1995, when capital punishment was abolished.

Earlier this week, Derby-Lewis’s lawyer, Marius Coertze, said his client was to undergo a second operation on his gangrenous right lower leg.

The surgeon wanted to clean the wound one last time before sewing it up, he said, but added that it was still not clear whether Derby-Lewis (74) would lose the leg.

He injured the leg a few weeks ago on a metal bed-base in a corridor at the Pretoria Central Prison.

As it was not an open wound, it was not considered serious until his leg started swelling and turning black, by which time it was gangrenous. A large area of his calf had to be surgically removed last week.

Coertze could not immediately be reached for an update on his client’s condition.

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