The Freedom Front Plus welcomes the decision of the Johannesburg High Court which granted medical parole to Clive Derby-Lewis. It is clear from Judge Selby Baqwa’s judgment that political expediency did not play a role. It is a pity that citizens so often have to turn to courts to force the ANC to show and apply humanity, Ubuntu, justice and fairness.
Although the FF Plus condemns the deed for which Derby-Lewis was convicted, it should not play any role in the consideration of parole, especially medical parole. That is why the judge’s verdict ends an injustice which has continued for years.
Clive Derby-Lewis met all the requirements for parole in October 2008. The parole board at the time recommended parole which was then denied.
The parole board which had recommended parole following Derby-Lewis’ three previous applications, found that he had shown remorse. The political authorities however each time sought reasons and excuses to deny parole.
The greatest injustice was when the recommendation of the medical parole advisory board that Derby-Lewis should be given medical prole, was turned down. The recommendations of the medical parole advisory board’s 17 medical doctors and specialists were turned down by the minister who has no medical knowledge.
Political considerations and double standards without a doubt were decisive in al the previous government decisions on parole for Derby-Lewis. It is especially clear when Clive Derby-Lewis’ case is compared with the medical parole of Schabir Shaik.
During the constitutional negotiations, political crimes which would be considered for amnesty were defined as a crimes committed with political reasons as motivation. Derby-Lewis meets this criterion. He didn’t murder anybody, but provided the weapon which Walus used to murder Chris Hani.
Before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was set up, 22 000 ANC prisoners were released as prerequisite of the ANC negotiators. The result was that 95% of the amnesty applicants during the truth and reconciliation hearings were not ANC members and many cases have still not been finalised. The injustice and short-sightedness is apparent in that, when general amnesty was discussed at the time, the NP negotiators did not deem it necessary for the ANC offenders.
That is why amnesty was granted in the past to people such as Robert McBride who had murdered numerous innocent people with a bomb attack in the Magoo’s Bar in Durban and the PAC members who murdered innocent churchgoers in Cape Town. Clive Derby-Lewis wasn’t given amnesty.
Those who had been given amnesty got it because the interim Constitution stated: “The opportunity now exists to make it (the abuses of the past) right on the basis that there is a need for understanding and not vengeance, a need for repair and not for retribution, a need for humanity and not for victimisation.”
Something of this is now coming to the fore in the judge’s ruling on Derby-Lewis and it is welcomed.
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