Africa

Clive Derby-Lewis, behind Chris Hani killing, dies

Clive Derby-Lewis (R) with Janusz Walus, the other man committed to life imprisonment for the assassination of Chris Hani Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Clive Derby-Lewis (R) with Janusz Walus: Both men were jailed over the killing of Chris Hani

Clive Derby-Lewis, a South African politician jailed for the 1993 assassination of Communist Party leader Chris Hani, has died at the age of 80.

Mr Hani led the military wing of Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) party and was among the country's most popular black politicians.

Derby-Lewis opposed ending white minority rule and was trying to start a race war in the last days of apartheid.

Another man, Janusz Walus, shot Mr Hani but Derby-Lewis provided the gun.

He was initially sentenced to death, alongside Walus, but his sentence was commuted when South Africa abolished the death penalty in 1995.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Nelson Mandela salutes the coffin of Chris Hani during his public funeral in 1993

The murder was intended to spark riots that escalated racial tensions and harmed reconciliation efforts.

But it backfired as M Mandela appeared presidential while he called for calm, and pressured then-President FW de Klerk to set a date for the historic democratic election in which he was swept to power.

Derby-Lewis was a founder member of the Conservative Party in 1982.

Partly because of his terminal lung cancer, he was granted parole in June 2015 after 22 years in prison, despite fierce objections from the Hani family.

He is survived by his wife Gaye, a fellow Conservative Party politician.

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