Jean-Jacques Cornish

Apartheid killer gets medical parole

A 79-year white South African rightwinger jailed for his part in the murder of Communist leader Chris Hani, that threatened to derail South Africa’s transition to democaracy has been granted medical parole.

Judge Selby Baqwa has made a controversial finding in the Pretoria High Cour that the prisoner Clive Derby Lewis has the right to die with dignity

Judge Selby Baqwa says Justice Minister Michael Masutha unfairly denied Clive Derby Lewis medical parole four months ago.

He cannot hand the matter back to the minister because two independent doctors say the plaintiff has less than two months to live.

Clive Derby-Lewis was sentenced to death for providing the gun that killed Chris Hani 22 years ago.

He escaped the hangman because capital punishment was abolished by the ANC government.

He’s served 21 years in jail.

He showed no remorse for his action and was not considered for pardon by the Truth and Reconcialiation Commission.

Lately he’s sought to apologise to Hani’s widow Limpho but she’s refused to see him.

She left the court yesterday declining to comment.

Police Union spokesman Richard Mamabolo says he’s really disappointed Derby-Lewis will be set free because he’s not shown remorse.

Trade union leader Zwelinzima Vavi says the decision will spark an angry backlash.

Corne Mulder of the predominantly white Freedom Front Plus party says the parole’s long overdue.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.