Janusz Walus to learn fate of jail sentence for Hani’s murderNovember 21, 2022
Late struggle icon Chris Hani’s assassin Janusz Walus will find out whether he will be granted parole or remain behind bars.
The Constitutional Court is expected to hand down its decision on Monday.
Walus, originally from Poland, is currently serving a life sentence for killing the SACP leader in 1993.
He and former apartheid era MP Clive Derby-Lewis were convicted of his murder that year.
Hani, the former uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) commander who was also a leader of the SACP, was gunned down outside his Boksburg home in April 1993.
Walus has made several unsuccessful applications for parole, with Justice Minister Ronald Lamola having refused the latest (the subject of the current court proceeding) in 2020, citing the seriousness of the crime.
Earlier this year, Hani’s widow Limpho urged the Constitutional Court to throw out the bold bid for freedom Walus had launched.
She said not only did the 69-year-old take “the life of a father and husband, but also a man who, along with his comrades in the struggle, was an architect of, and negotiator for, our constitutional democracy”.
Hani said in papers before SA’s apex court: “The crime was one that shook a nation that was crafting a new society to its core.”
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Derby-Lewis was also denied medical parole and died in prison in 2016.
Con Court argument
During argument in the apex court in February 22, with yet another attempt by Walus, Advocate Roelof du Plessis, representing Walus, brought up examples of apartheid criminals who were eventually freed, including death squad leader Eugene de Kock in 2015 after 20 years in jail, and hitman Ferdi Barnard, released in 2019 after more than 20 years behind bars.
Referring to Lamola, Du Plessis said Lamola was always going to be under political pressure in this case, the Daily Maverick reported.
He said if the Lamola decided to release Walus, he would become known as the minister who freed Chris Hani’s killer.
“I submit if one applied ubuntu in this matter, the outcome should be in favour of [Walus],” Du Plessis said.
Judgement is expected to be handed down at 2pm.
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