Business Day

Baffling bias on parole

- Randall Harrison Houghton

DEAR SIR — I have no truck with Clive Derby-Lewis, who was justly convicted of supplying the gun that was used to murder Chris Hani and thoroughly deserved to spend the rest of his life in jail. But I do have a problem with the inconsiste­nt applicatio­n of the law as relates to the granting of parole.

Derby-Lewis has served almost 20 years of his 30-year sentence and is now an elderly man who has expressed contrition as well as a desire to apologise to Hani’s widow. He is also ill with cancer and age-related disease, and although this may not be terminal, it is no less likely to cause his death than is Schabir Shaik’s chronic hypertensi­on.

If it was up to me, both would serve their full sentences and be treated for their illnesses in jail, to the best of the state’s ability within the known resource restraints.

But that is apparently not the policy that has been decided on by this government, in its infinite wisdom, and Derby-Lewis is as entitled as any other criminal to benefit from this misguided magnanimit­y.

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