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By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist

Janusz Walus to learn fate of jail sentence for Hani’s murder

Earlier this year, Hani’s widow urged the ConCourt to throw out the bold bid for freedom Walus had launched.

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.

Parole attempts

Walus, originally from Poland, is currently serving a life sentence for killing the South African Communist Party (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 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 and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola having refused the latest in 2020, citing the seriousness of the crime.

Hani’s widow

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.”

ALSO READ: Ramaphosa pays tribute to Chris Hani on 29th anniversary of his death

Derby-Lewis was also denied medical parole, and died in prison in 2016.

ConCourt argument

During argument in the apex court on 22 February, 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.

Du Plessis said Lamola was always going to be under political pressure in this case, 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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