CLIVE DERBY-LEWIS has detailed in an exclusive interview how Polish immigrant Janus Walusz saw his “golden opportunity” to kill SACP leader Chris Hani when he spotted Hani alone in front of his home in Boksburg.
The “truth” behind the killing of Hani did not go to the grave with Derby-Lewis after all.
Hani was killed to make the country ungovernable so that the conservatives could take over. This is according to Derby-Lewis, who eventually revealed the truth two months before his death during the only interview since his release from jail in June last year.
In an exclusive interview with Forum Films, Derby-Lewis told interviewer and head of the film company Ernst Roets that Hani was a hardcore communist who could not be controlled by the ANC.
Two parts of the four-part interview were released this week on the company’s website. The complete package will be released by tomorrow. Roets said it was Derby-Lewis’s wish that the interview be released after his death.
Derby-Lewis, 80, who died on November 3 of cancer, spent 22 years in jail for his part in the 1993 assassination of Hani. The man who pulled the trigger, Walusz, is still behind bars and embroiled in legal proceedings to secure parole.
Many believed that Derby-Lewis never told the truth behind Hani’s assassination. But in the interview Derby-Lewis maintained that it was a simple discussion between him and Walusz that Hani should be killed.
However, Derby-Lewis was adamant that he never told Walusz to kill Hani, but that the Pole offered to do it.
“I suggested we should take out a well-known profile figure and he said he would be prepared to do the shooting… I could not instruct him to commit murder, he volunteered.
“As far as I was concerned, it was a political objective and I was justified… I accepted his offer. I said ‘okay, if you want to do it, but keep me out’.”
Derby-Lewis said at that stage he was not even sure whether it was the right thing to do. No dates or places were planned, but Derby-Lewis said he instructed that it may not be done over the Easter weekend, as families were then together.
The assassination was also to be abandoned if anybody else apart from Hani was around. Derby-Lewis said he made it clear he wanted no other casualties.
He gave Walusz an unlicensed firearm and the plan was to give him the bullets to use, but Hani was killed before this could be done.
Derby-Lewis said he was visiting a friend in Krugersdorp on April 10, 1993.
“We were having tea when the phone rang. My friend’s wife answered and she came back saying Hani was just killed. I had such a tremendous feeling of relief because I knew it could not have been Walusz as he had not yet had the ammunition. When I found out it was him, it was quite a shock.”
He said no preparations had yet been made at that stage. Derby-Lewis also said he regarded former president FW de Klerk as a sell-out.