SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani’s killer Clive Derby-Lewis’s application for parole was postponed in the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday.

The matter was postponed to mid-November to allow other parties – the Hani family and the National Parole Board – to be joined to the motion against Derby-Lewis’s parole.

A healthy looking Derby-Lewis was accompanied to court by many correctional officers. He wore a suit and leg irons.

Asked about what his client was doing in court, Derby-Lewis’s attorney Marius Coertze said he had been scheduled to appear before the court.

This was as he was under the impression that proceedings were going ahead.

The 72-year-old was convicted along with Janusz Walus of assassinating the SA Communist Party leader on April 10, 1993. In 1995 their death sentences were changed to life imprisonment.

Speaking outside court, Coertze said the family had indicated their interest in the matter on Monday afternoon while “this morning [Tuesday] at 10:00 motion from a representative of the National Parole Board to join the motion (was received),”he said.

Opposing parole

He said he had not had the time to consider the applications for the two parties to form part of the respondents.

“The Hani family say they have a common law right which we dispute,” he said.

This was in light of legislation that the family of the deceased can have an input in the offender’s parole.

“They don’t want him to be given parole,” he said.

Commenting on the reasons why the family did not want his client released, Coertze said it appeared to him as though they were “bitter” and that they thought Derby-Lewis “must rot in jail”.

On August 19 last year, Derby-Lewis appeared before a parole board which recommended his parole.

“Since then nothing has happened,” said Coertze, adding that Derby-Lewis qualified for parole because of his age.

Representing the Hani family, attorney Mkopane Thaanyane said the family was “entitled to make presentations” in the matter and that it was opposing his parole.

“He was found guilty of a very serious offence,” said Thaanyane outside court.

A handful of civilians dressed in red SACP T-shirts were seen outside the court building.