Medical parole again recommended for Clive Derby-Lewis

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Johannesburg - Chris Hani's killer is not giving up on trying to be freed from prison. Clive Derby-Lewis approached the North Gauteng High Court on Friday to intervene after several failed attempts to get parole over the years.

JOHANNESBURG - The lawyer representing Clive Derby-Lewis, Marius Coertze, says the medical parole board has again recommended the killer be released.

79-year-old Derby-Lewis is serving a life sentence for killing South African Communist leader and struggle hero Chris Hani on April 10, 1993.

He has applied for medical parole in the past without any success.

Coertze said the medical parole board had found that Clive Derby-Lewis has stage 3 lung cancer and "has low 5 year survival rate.”

The recommendation for his release would be formalised after affidavits confirming his identity.

Coertze expressed disappointment that it had taken long for his client’s release to take place; “We are angry that this has taken so long...this is a simple decision..."The only issue now is the determination of a date for Clive&39;s release. The minister needs to decide that."

He also slammed Correctional Services for failing to act on medical parole -"not just in Clive&39;s case but in many others.”

He told eNCA; “The medical parole board believes he (Derby-Lewis) has a terminal illness...one doctor thinks he will die within a year."

Coertze believes his client will pose no threat while on medical parole. He says the only reason the Minister could refuse his release would be "if he thought Clive could commit another murder."

"The only issue now is the determination of a date for Clive&39;s release. The minister needs to decide that."

The Justice and Correctional Services Minister, Advocate Michael Masutha would have to make a decision regarding the medical parole by January 31.

Lewis’s wife doesn’t know how to feel about the medical parole board’s recommendation that he be released, she said on Tuesday in a statement.

"I do not know how to feel. It has happened four times before and each time it was blocked by the government. I do not know if the minister is going to release him," Gaye Derby-Lewis said.