SACP leader Chris Hani’s assassin Janusz Walus has launched a renewed court application for his release on parole, subject to his immediate deportation to Poland on his release.
Walus, a Polish immigrant, has served just over 24 years for shooting Hani to death in the driveway of his Boksburg home in 1993. Home Affairs revoked his South African citizenship in 2016.
He and Conservative Party MP Clive Derby-Lewis, who supplied the murder weapon, were initially sentenced to death but their sentences were in 2000 commuted to life imprisonment.
Derby-Lewis, who was released on medical parole in 2015, died of lung cancer a year later.
Walus wants the High Court in Pretoria to set aside Justice Minister Michael Masutha’s decision in November last year to refuse him parole yet again.
The high court initially ordered his release on parole, but the Supreme Court of Appeal in August set this aside and referred the matter back to the minister.
The minister refused Walus parole following a new parole hearing in October last year, on the basis that Walus’ apology was not sincere, that there were inconsistencies in his account about the murder and that he posed a risk as he still harboured the same views about communism.
The minister directed that Walus must receive psychotherapy to assist in addressing his political ideologies and engage in a further restorative justice process with Hani’s family, the SACP and the community.
Walus said he had repeatedly tried to apologise to the Hani family since 2013, and his apology was sincere.
He said in an affidavit that it this was “ludicrous” as Mrs Mpho Hani made it very clear that she never wished to see him again and blamed him for destroying her life and being responsible for the death of one of her children.
Mrs Hani and the SACP repeatedly stated that Walus had not told the full truth and called for a formal inquest into Hani’s death.
Walus maintained the minister’s decision was unreasonable, irrational and politically motivated to appease.
- Walus’ attorney Julian Knight said it was ironic that Gabriel Mahakoe, who committed the most horrific farm murder that was motivated by his hatred for whites, had been released on parole following an SCA ruling, yet the minister had a problem with Walus.
- “Hard cases make bad law. Government must resist the temptation to elevate Hani to a Messiah status as this would mean that no one who committed murder would be eligible for release on parole,” he said.