Hani case defence throws in towel: South African murder verdict expected today amid suspense over fates of remaining two accused

THE CASE for the defence of Janusz Walus, the man accused of murdering Chris Hani, buckled yesterday under the weight of state evidence, and all that remains is the formality of the judge declaring him guilty, possibly as early as this afternoon.

After the state had closed its case yesterday, counsel for Mr Walus, a Polish immigrant, conceded that he was bereft of all arguments. The suspense now concerns the fates of the other two defendants, husband and wife Clive and Gaye Derby- Lewis, who are also accused of the murder of the African National Congress leader on 10 April.

Mr Walus and Mr Derby-Lewis having declined to testify, most of the day yesterday was devoted to the cross-examination of Mrs Derby-Lewis. The prosecutor, Klaus von Lieres, Johannesburg's attorney-general, set out first to establish her credentials as a fanatical anti-Communist, Mr Hani having doubled up as ANC leader and general secretary of the Communist Party. This Mr von Lieres did by quoting extensively from her articles for the Conservative Party mouthpiece Die Patriot, for which she worked as a journalist.

South Africa, she had written, was condemned to live 'under the yoke of Communist tyranny'; the country was being 'handed over to the Communists without firing a shot'; President F W de Klerk's National Party was 'selling out the whites'.

Mr von Lieres, a tall commanding presence in the courtroom, quoted Mrs Derby-Lewis' alarmist prose with ironic relish. Much taken by the 'yoke' image, which he repeated in mock understatement half a dozen times, he extracted chuckles from the gallery.

Mrs Derby-Lewis, 54, could not see what was so funny. Dressed in a severe brown and black polka-dot dress, bespectacled, with a no-nonsense short haircut - the image of the nun she once was in her native Australia - she responded with pursed lips and curt nods to the taunts. 'Yes, those are my beliefs, the National Party is giving the country to the Communists.'

A motive of sorts having been established, Mr von Lieres launched into the detail. In early January she had drawn up a list of 19 names, ten of whose addresses she had obtained by the end of the month. In the list were Nelson Mandela, Communist Party chairman Joe Slovo, four local journalists and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pik Botha, as well as Mr Hani. Was this a hit-list?

No. She had wanted to write articles about the rich lifestyles of the revolutionary leaders; about 'sell- out' white journalists, some of whom she believed to be paid agents of the state ('I can't understand how Afrikaner journalists can turn against their own people'); about Mr Botha's alleged illegal property dealings.

Curiously, she contended that she had never once - not even during the trial - talked to her husband about the list or, more surprisingly, about the alleged murder weapon, even though the case against him rests on substantial evidence that he supplied the gun to Mr Walus. This Mr von Lieres described as 'totally abnormal human behaviour'.

Perhaps the explanation lay in the answer Mrs Derby-Lewis had provided in the morning to a question from her husband's counsel. 'Are you and your husband very much in love with each other?' She paused. 'Well . . . well as much as any 10-year marriage could endure.'

News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
Standing the test of time: Michael J Fox and Christopher Lloyd in 'Back to the Future'
filmA cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Arts and Entertainment
Flora Spencer-Longhurst as Lavinia, William Houston as Titus Andronicus and Dyfan Dwyfor as Lucius
theatreThe Shakespeare play that proved too much for more than 100 people
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Stir crazy: Noel Fielding in 'Luxury Comedy 2: Tales from Painted Hawaii'
comedyAs ‘Luxury Comedy’ returns, Noel Fielding on why mainstream success scares him and what the future holds for 'The Boosh'
Life and Style
Flow chart: Karl Landsteiner discovered blood types in 1900, yet scientists have still not come up with an explanation for their existence
lifeAll of us have one. Yet even now, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Arts and Entertainment
'Weird Al' Yankovic, or Alfred Matthew, at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival Screening of
musicHis latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do our experts think he’s missed out?
Sport
New Real Madrid signing James Rodríguez with club president Florentino Perez
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
Travel
Hotel Tour d’Auvergne in Paris launches pay-what-you-want
travelIt seems fraught with financial risk, but the policy has its benefits
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Life and Style
News to me: family events were recorded in the personal columns
techFamily events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped that
News
news
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn