JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A man convicted for the 1993 assassination of Chris Hani, a leading opponent of the white minority rule in South Africa at the time, was granted parole on Friday.
Clive Derby-Lewis, who has cancer, was granted medical parole by Judge Selby Baqwa in a court in the South African capital, Pretoria, the justice ministry said.
Derby-Lewis, now 79, has applied for parole several times in recent years. In January this year, Justice Minister Michael Masutha rejected Derby-Lewis’ application, saying he did not show any remorse.
This time, the judge ruled in favor of parole instead of deferring the decision to the ministry because “time is of the essence,” said Mthunzi Mhaga, a justice ministry spokesman.
Derby-Lewis could be released by next week, Mhaga said.
More than 20 years ago, Derby Lewis and Polish immigrant Janusz Walus were sentenced to life in prison for the shooting of Hani. Hani was the leader of the South African Communist Party and head of the military wing of the African National Congress, the main anti-apartheid movement that became the ruling party in South Africa’s first all-race elections in 1994.
Walus, who remains in jail, said after his arrest that he and Derby-Lewis, a proponent of white minority rule, hoped the assassination would plunge South Africa into chaos ahead of the elections. The murder sparked some rioting, but the elections proceeded.
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