ANC: Don't use Derby-Lewis decision as excuse to open old wounds

Derby-Lewis, who is suffering from terminal lung cancer, was granted medical parole on 29 May.

FILE: Clive Derby-Lewis during his amnesty hearing for his part in the murder of Chris Hani. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - As Clive Derby-Lewis is granted medical parole, calls have been made for South Africans to uphold the legacy of former South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Chris Hani.

Derby-Lewis was sentenced to life in prison for Hani's murder in 1993.

While political organisations like the SACP and African National Congress (ANC) have expressed disappointment at the court's decision, they say they will allow the law to take its course.

The High Court in Pretoria granted the 79-year-old, who has terminal lung cander, medical parole on 29 May after several failed attempts.

The ANC has urged those who may be disappointed with the ruling not to use the decision as an excuse to open old wounds.

The party's Kusela Sangoni says, "We are calling on South Africans not to use this particular issue to open old antagonisms but rather find a new way to move forward."

Justice Minister Michael Masutha can still contest the court's ruling. In his ruling, Judge Selby Baqwa found a decision made earlier this year to deny Derby-Lewis parole was flawed.

Meanwhile, the SACP says the court has failed to show compassion to Hani's family through its decision.

At the same time, the Justice Department has confirmed that Derby-Lewis remains in hospital where he is being treated for lung cancer.