Derby-Lewis had lifesaving op - lawyer

2014-03-26 22:13


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Convicted murderer Clive Derby-Lewis underwent a "lifesaving operation" after he was stabbed for a second time in a Pretoria prison, his attorney Marius Coetzee said on Wednesday.

But the correctional services department (DCS) has denied having any knowledge of this, saying Derby-Lewis went to hospital for a "scheduled visit" which had nothing to do with the stabbing.

In a four-page letter written to the DCS, Coetzee said while the department had claimed his client only sustained a "minor injury" after he was stabbed in the back by another inmate on Sunday, he was rushed to theatre on Tuesday.

"Just after midnight on Tuesday, the hospital called Dr Durand urgently requesting him to come to the hospital," Coetzee said in the letter.

"When Dr Durand arrived and examined him, he found that the stab wound that was inflicted on Sunday inside the prison, had penetrated the lung."

"Mr Derby-Lewis was suffocating in his own blood and needed urgent medical attention."

Coetzee said Kgosi Mampuru Prison medical officials had failed to check whether Derby-Lewis had suffered any internal injuries but had instead simply stitched up his wound.

When news of the attack broke on Tuesday, DCS spokesperson Manelisi Wolela said: "The injury on his back caused by a glass used by an offender is described as minor and was treated at the local centre clinic."

At the time, Correctional Services Minister Sbu Ndebele condemned the attack, saying prisoners went to prison as a punishment and should not be punished any further.

"When Derby-Lewis comes out of hospital he will be placed in a single cell where a repeat of this thing will never happen. We will ensure he is safe," Ndebele was quoted as saying.

Coetzee said it was clear that the DCS did not care about his well-being.

"He was held in prison without proper medical care and could have easily died during the night," said Coetzee.

"They have brushed aside the seriousness of the attacks and his medical condition by minimising the incident."

DCS denies op

The DCS, however, said it knew nothing about the life-saving operation that was linked to Sunday's stabbing.

"As far as we are aware, his time in hospital had nothing to do with the stabbing," said spokesperson Logan Maistry.

"It was a planned visit which was scheduled some time ago."

Maistry said prison officials had given Derby-Lewis the best possible medical care after the stabbing.

"This matter has been condemned in the strongest possible terms... even by Minister Ndebele," he said.

"A criminal case was also being investigated by the SA Police Services."

In February, Derby-Lewis and his co-accused Janus Walusz were attacked with a sharpened spoon by another prisoner.

They suffered lacerations on the head and hand.

Both men are in prison for their role in the murder of SA Communist Party secretary general Chris Hani, who was shot dead in the driveway of his home in 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.

He first made an application in 2012, and another in 2011.

Read more on:    sbu ndebele  |  clive derby-lewis  |  johannesburg

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


4 exercise excuses and how to beat them

Now is the time to kick those excuses right out the door!


Where were you when you last felt alive?

Watch: Insane road bike skills!
The most extreme journey ever?
Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!
Adventure holidays for your bucket list

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now! - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25


There is a tendency to focus too intently on outer appearance and beauty which hides who you really are. You are being more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.