A recommendation that Clive Derby-Lewis be released on medical parole points to the seriousness of his illness, the Freedom Front Plus said on Tuesday.
“As in the case of Jackie Selebi who was offered the opportunity to die in peace surrounded by his own people, this last act of mercy should be awarded to any prisoner who is dying, regardless of who he is or the seriousness of his crime,” FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder said in a statement.
“It should be kept in mind that it isn’t ordinary parole that is being considered here which would ordinarily be influenced by the family of the victim or other factors.”
Derby-Lewis was jailed for his role in the murder, on April 10, 1993, of SA Communist Party general secretary Chris Hani. Earlier on Tuesday, Derby-Lewis’s wife Gaye said the medical parole board had recommended he be released.
“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,” she said.
However, Justice Minister Michael Masutha’s office said he had not been informed about the parole board’s recommendation.
Masutha would announce his decision regarding Derby-Lewis, Ferdi Barnard, and Eugene de Kock, on Friday, his spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said.
The Young Communist League of SA, who was against Derby-Lewis’s release, said reports that medical parole had been recommended were “ill-informed”.
“The YCLSA condemns in the strongest terms the attempts to run a public campaign by both Gaye Derby-Lewis and an ill-informed section of the media on the basis of perceived leaked recommendations of the medical parole board,” spokesman Khaya Xaba said in a statement.
“The intention of the campaign is to turn a recommendation into a binding decision of the [justice] minister and overlook conditions beyond the medical issue that Derby-Lewis has to fulfil before he is considered for parole by the minister.” SAPA