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Parole for South African political leader’s killer rejected

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Johannesburg: Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha Friday rejected the application for the release on medical parole of Clive Derby-Lewis, who killed Chris Hani, former South African Communist Party (SACP) secretary general.

“Our country is a constitutional democracy which is governed by the rule of law. Therefore, in reaching my decision, I have taken into account the relevant laws and prescripts that regulate the medical parole process,” Xinhua news agency quoted Masutha as saying in the ruling.

Derby-Lewis killed Hani in April 1993, one year before the first national democratic election which ended apartheid. The murder attracted much publicity at home and abroad.


The offender, who was sentenced to life imprisonment following his conviction for murder, was found to be suffering from lung cancer and undergoing chemotherapy.

On July 9, 2014, his application for placement on medical parole was considered by the Medical Parole Advisory Board.

The Board then made a recommendation that Masutha should place the offender on medical parole.

“I have now considered the offender’s application. In making my decision, I took into account the applicable legislation, recommendations made by the Board as well as the submission made by Mrs Hani and the SACP,” Masutha said.

“In the circumstances, the Board’s recommendation to place the offender on medical parole is not approved. This decision will be communicated to his (Derby-Lewis’s) legal representative as required by the court order.”

The decision not to grant medical parole to Derby-Lewis was welcomed by the SACP.

“As the SACP, we wish to reiterate our position that there is nothing which will divert us from our standpoint to fight against any form of manipulation of the law towards the release of Clive Derby-Lewis. He should remain in prison, as he remains a danger to the reconciliation projects that our country so desperately yearns for,” said SACP acting national spokesperson Mhlekwa Nxumalo.

He said the SACP was appealing to all South Africans to “embrace the spirit of true reconciliation through supporting the decision made by the minister on this matter”.