Call for Derby-Lewis to be freed

2014-04-12 12:19

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Johannesburg - Clive Derby-Lewis, one of the men convicted of killing SACP secretary general Chris Hani, should be freed, the Front Nasionaal (FN) said on Saturday.

Derby-Lewis is South Africa's most famous remaining political prisoner, said the group's deputy leader Dan Roodt in Pretoria, where a march was being held by the convicted killer's supporters.

In demanding his release, the Afrikaner FN emphasized that it did not mean this as a political statement.

"That might seem like a paradox. Clive is, after all, a consummate politician, a statesman and a leading figure of the conservative movement in South Africa," said Roodt.

The FN believed freeing Derby-Lewis was the right thing to do.

They demanded his release in the name of "justice, in the name of God or Christian charity and in the name of civilised values".

"For such an appeal to reason and reasonableness, they will call us right-wing. Or fascists. Or boorish Boers. But we reject all labels and slogans," Roodt said.

Hani was shot dead in the driveway of his home on 10 April 1993.

Derby-Lewis, who was sentenced to 25 years behind bars, has already served more than 20 years of his sentence.

The 78-year-old man, who was reportedly diagnosed with cancer, has twice been denied medical parole.

The SA Communist Party in the Western Cape were due to hold Chris Hani memorial lectures on Saturday.

"... Twenty-one years ago, comrade Chris was assassinated by ignorant cowards outside his residence in Boksburg," provincial spokesperson Masonwabe Sokoyi said in a statement.

"In the month of April all SACP structures commemorate and pay homage to a virtuous and humble leader of the working class."

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