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
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'