No parole for Derby-Lewis

By Drum Digital
19 June 2014

Correctional services has refuted claims by the wife and lawyer of convicted killer Clive Derby-Lewis that an application had been made for medical parole.

"The department dismisses as disingenuous the claim made that the lawyers of offender Clive Derby-Lewis had submitted an application for medical parole and have not received any feedback from correctional services," he said in a statement.

The Citizen on Wednesday quoted Derby-Lewis's lawyer Marius Coertze as saying he would take the matter to court if the department did not make a decision on the application.

"If we have not heard from them by the end of the week we will assume that they are dragging their feet... we will bring a new application to the high court," he told the newspaper.

Coertze and Wolela could not be reached for further comment on Thursday.

Wolela said Derby-Lewis's wife Gaye submitted an application for medical parole on May 2, which was incomplete and returned to her.

The department then met with her and her attorney to discuss the matter.

"Presently, [the department] is not in possession of any application for medical parole or form from any person acting on behalf of offender Derby-Lewis or even directly from him," said Wolela.

"The facts are clear that an incomplete medical application was submitted which could not be entertained.

"The department went an extra mile to explain the requirements to the wife of offender Derby-Lewis and her attorney and is still waiting for a complete application to be able to process it for consideration by the Medical Parole Advisory Board."

Derby-Lewis was convicted of conspiracy to kill SA Communist Party general secretary Chris Hani, by providing the gun Polish immigrant Janusz Walus used to kill him in the driveway of his Boksburg, East Rand, home on April 10, 1993.

The 78-year-old former Conservative Party MP, who was sentenced to 25 years behind bars, has already served more than 20 years of his sentence.

Derby-Lewis was initially sentenced to death, which was commuted to life imprisonment when the death penalty was abolished in 1995. He testified before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that his fight against Communism motivated the murder. The commission denied him amnesty in 1999, a decision upheld by the Cape High Court a year later.

He first applied for parole in June 2010.

Wolela explained that comments by Justice Minister Michael Masutha related to the consideration of parole and not medical parole.

"The minister's comments on offender Derby-Lewis only acknowledged the receipt of a normal parole submission with a positive recommendation from the national council of correctional services... the minister is expected to apply his mind and decide on the matter," he said.

On June 9, Masutha told reporters in Pretoria that Derby-Lewis had received a positive recommendation for his release on parole.

Wolela said Walus was given the same recommendation.

"It is the same as Derby-Lewis. There is no difference. Both of them received one recommendation for parole from the council. There is no decision yet on that. -SAPA 

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