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Mixed reaction to Derby-Lewis decision

Clive Derby-Lewis has dumped his lawyer Marius Coertze and his associate Elsabe Juin.

Clive Derby-Lewis has dumped his lawyer Marius Coertze and his associate Elsabe Juin.

Published Jan 30, 2015

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Johannesburg - There was mixed reaction to Justice Minister Michael Masutha's decision not to grant Clive Derby-Lewis medical parole on Friday.

The Young Communist League of SA welcomed the decision.

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“As the YCLSA we concur with the minister that Derby-Lewis does not show any form of remorse,” spokesman Khaya Xaba said in a statement.

“He does not see anything wrong with murdering comrade Chris Hani and does not see any reason to divulge all the necessary details pertaining to the... assassination.”

The YCLSA felt Derby-Lewis, 79, had not paid his debt to society and should be kept behind bars.

Derby-Lewis is currently serving a life sentence for his role in the assassination of SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani in April 1993, and has repeatedly been denied parole.

Masutha said the medical parole board recommended that he be released. However he decided not to grant him medical parole because he only had stage three B cancer, not stage four as stipulated in legislation, had not shown remorse, and because there were questions about his medical records.

Masutha said the name on the pathologists' report was not Derby-Lewis's.

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Afrikaner lobby group AfriForum said keeping Derby-Lewis is prison was a human rights violation and an embarrassment for the country.

“The plea is simply that everybody should be treated equal in terms of law,” spokesman Charl Oberholzer said in a statement.

“Schabir Shaik, a convicted criminal, serves two years in prison and receives medical parole, while someone who is almost 80-years-old with advanced lung cancer and who has been in the hospital for the past 10 months, is denied parole.”

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Shaik, President Jacob Zuma's former financial advisor and a convicted fraudster, was released on medical parole in March 2009. He was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2005 on two counts of corruption and one of fraud. Shaik spent most of his time in jail in hospital due to high blood pressure, depression and chest pains.

AfriForum claimed there were double standards in granting parole and accused government of abandoning its humanity.

The Front Nasionaal (National Front) rejected Masutha's decision.

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“We regard the incarceration of a terminally ill 79-year-old man as nothing but politically motivated revenge which will stand as a blot on the reputation of this government for eternity,” the party said in a statement.

“Front Nasionaal will now take the matter to the next level, involving the United Nations and the international community.”

Sapa

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