The Pretoria High Court has ruled that Clive Derby-Lewis, the man convicted for providing the weapon that was used to assassinate South African Communist Party Leader (SACP) Chris Hani in 1993, must be granted medical parole with immediate effect.
79-year-old Derby-Lewis, who has served 21 years of his prison sentence, has been diagnosed with Stage-four inoperable lung cancer and has been given two months to live.
Derby Lewis applied for medical parole in late January this year, however his application was declined by the Medical Parole Board and the Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Michael Masutha, citing that he only suffered from stage-three cancer.
According to the law, a prisoner has to be at stage-four in order to be released on medical parole.
Judge Selby Baqwa, who presided over Deby-Lewis’ hearing, said that although he has been granted parole with immediate effect, the aged killer will only be allowed to leave at the latest on the 5th of June. This date, next week Friday, is the deadline given to the parole authorities to draw up the conditions of his parole.
During the hearing, Derby-Lewis’s lawyer, Advocate Roelof du Plessis said that Lewis is not only seriously ill, but has shown deep remorse to Chris Hani’s family, even going so far as to continuously invite Hani’s widow, Limpho Hani to the hospital where he was being treated to apologise in person.
Limpho Hani has been against every single one of Lewis’s applications and has yet to accept his apology.
On the other end of the spectrum, South African’s have taken to social media to voice their rage and support for Judge Baqwa’s verdict, with some saying that no matter the crime no one deserves to die in prison and others making mention of the fact that they believe the South African judicial system is favourable to white South Africans.
In his closing arguments, Advocate du Plessis said that Lewis should be released in the name of human dignity and ubuntu.