Walus basks in fairyland

THERE is something unnerving and chilling about Janusz Walus, the jailed killer of Chris Hani the leader of the South African Communist Party.

THERE is something unnerving and chilling about Janusz Walus, the jailed killer of Chris Hani the leader of the South African Communist Party.

It is perhaps his cold demeanour, which projects him as an individual incapable of feeling; and, more eerily, an assassin still unappreciative of the gravity of the cold-blooded signature which he dramatically left in the collective memory of millions of South Africans on that fateful day.

This is the distinguishing mark of a professional killer who would justify his bloodcurdling activities as purely business and nothing personal.

This much is self-evident in the brief interview (published yesterday) our reporter Cecil Motsepe conducted with the Polish anti-communist immigrant while visiting Pretoria's C-Max high security prison last weekend.

Walus and former Conservative Party MP Clive Derby- Lewis were sentenced to death (later commuted to life) for Hani's murder on the eve of the historic democratic elections in this country.

Seemingly uncowed by all the years he has spent in prison since April 1993 when he assassinated Hani, Walus surprisingly cut a picture of euphoria with a cigar stuck in his lips during his encounter with our reporter.

Even the late German author Thomas Mann would have approved of the sight, as he once said: "I never can understand how anyone can not smoke. It deprives a man of the best part of life. With a good cigar in his mouth a man is perfectly safe, nothing can touch him, literally."

Apart from Walus' expensive taste for good things in life, it transpired during the interview that he earnestly believed he "was supposed to have gone out almost a year ago," except for the delay due to "certain" people conspiring against him.

Yeah, right.

Could it be that a deal had been in the offing then to release him other than the controversial secret parole board decision that prompted public outrage last year?

Somehow a sense that Walus was remorseful was hardly evident during the interview, a consequence perhaps of his deadpan and impersonal demeanour that characterises his kind.

Rather illuminating, too, is Walus' strong belief that, except for "certain" people conspiring against him, his release would have seemingly happened - even then with not so much a fuss from the rest of the nation.

Well ...

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