White woman linked to Hani assassination: Right-wing politician's wife charged as SA peace talks stumble

THE WIFE of a leading right-wing white politician appeared before a magistrate yesterday in connection with the murder of Chris Hani, the African National Congress (ANC) leader, a crime described in court by the police as part of a plot to sabotage negotiations towards a peaceful, democratic settlement.

At the multi-party talks, however, various representatives appeared determined to scuttle the process themselves. Progress on setting an election date, which both the government and the ANC agree to be urgent in the present volatile political climate, was undermined by a cabal of right-wing delegations who introduced one delaying stratagem after another.

One person who would have applauded such a ploy, Gaye Derby- Lewis, became the second person to appear in court in the Hani case. Janusz Walus, who was arrested by the police on 10 April, within half an hour of the assassination, has been charged with murder. The police believe Mr Walus, who belongs to a number of far-right organisations, pulled the trigger.

Mrs Derby-Lewis, a journalist, is the wife of the prominent right-wing spokesman Clive Derby-Lewis, a former MP of the South African Conservative Party. Mr Derby-Lewis, arrested in connection with the murder 12 days ago, lost a court ruling yesterday against a police application that he continue to be held under the Internal Security Act, a law introduced to curb the activities of the ANC and other black liberation movements.

According to affidavits submitted to the court by police, Mr Derby- Lewis supplied Mr Walus with a gun and silencer and told him to shoot Mr Hani over the Easter weekend. Police Colonel Adriaan van Niekerk, who is heading the investigation, said he was convinced both Mr and Mrs Derby- Lewis had information regarding a plot to kill Mr Hani and eight others, including Nelson Mandela, named in a hit-list in Mr Walus' home.

The day's other drama, the multi- party negotiations, proceeded in less sensational fashion. It was the second time this week that all 26 participating parties sat down at the 'negotiating council'. On Monday, the first meeting after the political storm that followed Mr Hani's death, the government and ANC delegations, led by Roelf Meyer and Cyril Ramaphosa respectively, arrived in business-like mood, determined speedily to arrive at a decision on an election date and the establishment of multi-party 'Transitional Executive Councils' designed to ensure a free and fair vote.

As it turned out, zero progress was made, for the Concerned South Africans Grouping had other plans. Cosag, established last year at the instigation of the Inkatha Freedom Party leader, Mangosuthu Buthelezi, is a loose alliance comprising Inkatha, Mr Derby-Lewis' Conservative Party, the right-wing, nationalist Afrikaner Volksunie, and the purportedly independent 'homeland' governments of Ciskei and Bophuthatswana.

Amid growing desperation from Mr Meyer and Mr Ramaphosa, each Cosag delegation took it in turn to propose points of order and procedural amendments which the rest would then support. In response to complaints by the other delegates, most of whom are allied either to the government or the ANC, that the broader population was clamouring for a rapid political settlement, a leading Inkatha delegate said: 'All this talk of urgency leaves me stone-cold'.

Yesterday, after much debate on whether to appoint 'technical sub- committees' or not, Frank Mdlalose, the Inkatha national chairman, sought to read out a document on political violence. He never got around to it because the non-Cosag delegates complained either that it was too long or too provocative. The document, which everybody had already read, pinned the blame for the violence on the ANC's armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe, and demanded this 'private army' be disbanded before negotiations could proceed.

On Thursday, two Inkatha supporters were convicted of killing 10 occupants of a mini-bus.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
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

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Manager / Sales - OTE £45,000

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a solutions / s...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £45,000

£18000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Executive is required t...

Recruitment Genius: Test Development Engineer

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you inspired to bring new a...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Motor Engineer

£14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific