Clive Derby-Lewis: Masutha must respect parole process - James Selfe

DA MP says minister must come to a fair and equitable determination following court ruling

Minister needs to be fair and just on Derby-Lewis parole

29 May 2015

The DA notes North Gauteng High Court’s ruling that Clive Derby-Lewis should be granted medical parole for his advanced cancer. The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Mike Masutha, must come to a fair and equitable determination in this regard. 

If due process was followed there is no reason to deny his parole application.

It is important to note that the DA has always condemned the senseless murder of Chis Hani and believed that the law should run its course.

In doing so the DA has consistently taken the view that prisoners who qualify for ordinary parole or medical parole, in this case, can and should be released, but only after the correct procedures have been followed. Consideration of parole should be applied consistently and fairly in all cases and should not be determined by political considerations.

This involves recommendations from the Correctional Supervision Parole Board and, in some cases, the National Council for Correctional Services, the Medical Parole Review Board (MPB) and a decision by the Minister.  

Subsequent to the controversial granting of parole to Schabir Shaik when he was clearly not ill, procedures were tightened-up through the establishment of the Medical Parole Review Board. 

This is a body composed of duly qualified and experienced practitioners, who must make recommendations to the Minister on the granting of parole on medical grounds.

Given this system and the evidence of stage 4 inoperable lung cancer, the Minister and Medical Parole Board cannot cherry-pick recommendations or parts of them that they may not like and we urge the Minister in consultation with the MPB to resist acting capriciously.

If medical practitioners are of the opinion that Clive Derby-Lewis’s illness is serious enough to warrant medical parole, the Minister, not being a medical practitioner, is not in the position to comment on whether Derby-Lewis is incapacitated or not.

A process was set in place, the Minister must respect it. 

In the case of Derby-Lewis, the courts have come to a determination which the Minister must diligently apply his mind before next week Friday and be fair and just in this regard.  

Statement issued by James Selfe MP, DA Shadow Minister of Correctional Services, May 30 2015