Pretoria - Chris Hani’s murderer Clive Derby-Lewis and his co-conspirator were injured on Wednesday in an alleged racist attack by a gang leader at the Kgosi Mampuru (formerly Pretoria Central) Prison.
Derby-Lewis, 78, and Janusz Walus, 61, were stabbed with a “kitchen table spoon”, Correctional Services spokesman Manelisi Wolela said.
An inmate in the facility said the pair were stabbed by a leader of the 26 prison gang in an alleged racist attack.
Hani, SACP general secretary and chief of staff of the ANC’s military wing Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), was assassinated outside his house in Boksburg on April 10, 1993.
He was shot by Walus with a gun arranged by Derby-Lewis. Both were sentenced to death. This was commuted to life in prison after the death penalty was abolished.
Derby-Lewis, who has cancer, has been denied parole twice.
An inmate claims the gang leader attacked Walus with a steel pipe and then stabbed him several times with the sharpened spoon.
“The guy then went to the section where Clive stays, pulled him from his cell and did the same to him.
“Other inmates pulled him off Clive. When the wardens arrived he told them he wanted to see management.
“He still had the weapons in his hands. There was a lot of blood coming from Derby-Lewis’s face and body,” the inmate said.
Both men were taken to the medical facility on the prison premises for treatment. Wolela said both men suffered some lacerations on the head and hands.
“They were briefly treated internally (stitched and treated by our nurse) and the attacker has been locked up.
“Our officials have spoken to the two attacked offenders who said ‘nothing is serious’, but we will continue to monitor the situation and may send them for further examination.
“The SAPS and Correctional Services officials are investigating the attack,” said Wolela.
He could not confirm whether the attack was racist.
“Further information will be revealed on the incident following the conclusion of the investigation, which is expected to uncover the motive for the attack,” he said.
The inmate said the gang leader allegedly warned management on Saturday that he would kill all white people in the prison because they received preferential treatment.
“It’s an old thing here. The whites are being treated more superior than blacks. Most of them have single cells that look like a chief executive’s office with fans and computers and nice stuff,” the inmate claimed.
Some white inmates could go around the prison without any warden escorts but others not, he said.
This month, issues around preferential treatment in prison came to the fore after video footage of two of the so-called Waterkloof four – Christoff Becker and Frikkie du Preez – surfaced.
The video showed Becker and Du Preez partying while in jail. The two were rearrested after the video surfaced and are appearing before the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board.