IFP Spokesperson on Correctional Services, Mr MA Mncwango, MP, said,” The Minister of Justice based his decision for denial of parole on two reasons, namely: that Mr Lewis suffered from stage 3 cancer and that it was requisite that a prisoner had stage 4 cancer before being eligible for medical parole and that he was not convinced that Mr Derby-Lewis had shown any real remorse for his past actions.
Whilst the IFP in no manner condones the past actions of Mr Derby-Lewis, we are of the opinion that Mr Derby-Lewis, who is terminally ill, should have been medically paroled and allowed to return to his home to die with dignity”.
Mncwango further added that “South Africa is a Constitutional democracy with an entrenched Bill of Rights and founded on the principles of Ubuntu. Every person is equal before the law and entitled to the same protection.
It would appear that there are double standards at play, specifically when contrasting the stringent application of criteria for medical parole in this instance versus those applied in the case of Mr Schabir Shaik for example.
The IFP calls for uniform application and consideration of the criteria associated with medical parole, based principally on human dignity, for all citizens and not just the politically well connected.
We also call upon the Minister to consider the cases of liberation fighters who are still languishing in jail, including members of APLA, MK and even the SPUs. This would help bring closure to the still unresolved chapter of reconciliation”.
Issued by IFP