Hani's Killer Clive Derby-Lewis Dies

Convicted killer Clive Derby-Lewis has died at the Eugene Marais Hospital in Pretoria on Thursday.

Derby-Lewis was arrested just before the 1994 elections for the death of SACP leader Chris Hani, who was assassinated by Janusz Walus. 

He was granted parole in May last year following several attempts to be freed from prison. 

Whilst serving his sentence for his role in Hani’s killing, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. 

His wife Gaye Derby-Lewis has confirmed that he died on Thursday afternoon.

Derby-Lewis was arrested for aiding and abetting a Polish anti-communist immigrant to South Africa, Janusz Walus, in the assassination (10 April 1993) of Chris Hani, General Secretary of the South African Communist Party and leader of the African National Congress’ military wing. 

Derby-Lewis had loaned the gun used in the assassination to Walus. A list of senior ANC and South African Communist Party figures had been developed allegedly by Arthur Kemp and included Nelson Mandela and Joe Slovo.

Derby-Lewis was convicted of conspiracy to murder and sentenced to death for his role in the assassination. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment when capital punishment was outlawed in 1995.

Derby-Lewis confessed his role in the assassination in his application to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for amnesty and testified that the assassination was encouraged or sanctioned by senior leaders of the Conservative Party. 

In his defence, Derby-Lewis said that he was acting “in defence of my people, who were threatened with a Communist take-over.” He added that his Christian faith within the Afrikaanse Protestant Church was central to his decision: “As a Christian, my first duty is to the Almighty God before everything else. We were fighting against communism, and communism is the vehicle of the Antichrist.”