Derby-Lewis showed remorse - Judge

2015-05-29 14:00
Hani's widow Limpho leaves the High Court in Pretoria. (Naledi Shange, News24)

Hani's widow Limpho leaves the High Court in Pretoria. (Naledi Shange, News24)

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Pretoria - The man who was linked to the murder of SACP leader Chris Hani was on Friday a free man after being granted medical parole in the High Court in Pretoria.

After an extensive court battle, Judge Selby Baqwa ruled that Clive Derby Lewis’s medical parole was immediately effective, saying the former Conservative Party leader had shown remorse.

The 79-year-old has spent over 21 years behind bars and is said to be dying of lung cancer.

In January, he had been given just six more months to live.

Delivering his judgment, Baqwa said: "Taking into account all the evidence and all the information... I have come to the conclusion that the applicant has made a case for placement on medical parole."

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha, who in January denied Derby-Lewis parole, had to determine the parole conditions along with the medical parole board by June 5.

Baqwa had been tasked with reviewing Masutha's decision in denying Derby-Lewis parole.

Masutha had denied Derby-Lewis parole, claiming he had shown no remorse for his deeds.

Derby-Lewis had provided the gun which was used to murder Hani outside his home in Dawn Park, Boksburg, in 1993.

Baqwa, however said Masutha's processes had been "flawed".

Remorse

He claimed that Masutha had failed to take into consideration the remorse expressed by Derby-Lewis.

Masutha had also claimed that Derby-Lewis did not qualify to be released on medical parole as the law said an inmate needed to have been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer to be paroled.

Masutha said Derby-Lewis had Stage 3b. Two doctors who later examined him found the cancer had however advanced to Stage 4.

Baqwa said the act of ubuntu should be exercised and Derby-Lewis should be allowed to die in dignity.

As he spoke, friends of Derby-Lewis who sat in the back of the court expressed agreement.

They broke down and tears of joy flowed as it was announced that he would be set free.

The two men and a woman took out their cellphones and made calls, sharing the news.

Hani's wife, Limpho, however, left the court in a great hurry.

Seemingly disappointed by the ruling, she refused to speak to the media.

Meanwhile, the court also ruled that she and Masutha, as respondents in the matter would foot Derby-Lewis's legal costs.

Read more on:    chris hani  |  clive derby-lewis  |  pretoria

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