The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Advocate Michael Masutha’s decision not to free Clive Derby-Lewis is a human rights embarrassment for South Africa, due to the fact that democratic processes do not have democratic outcomes, but are dictated by politics.
“The plea is simply that everybody should be treated equal in terms of law. Schabir Shaik, a convicted criminal, serves two years in prison and receives medical parole while someone who is almost 80 years old with advanced lung cancer and who has been in the hospital for the past 10 months is denied parole,” said Charl Oberholzer, spokesperson for AfriForum.
Derby-Lewis is possibly one of the oldest prisoners in the world who is eligible for parole, but doesn’t receive it.
There are clearly double standards in the granting of parole and the government has officially abandoned their humanity.
Sibusiso Ndebele, former minister of correctional services, said during the release of Jackie Selebi that the department does not have the capacity to keep terminally ill prisoners incarcerated.
AfriForum sympathises with the Derby-Lewis family and especially his wife, Gaye.
“It is sad to see a government stripping someone from his democratic right on his death bed,” Oberholzer said.