Court bid to keep Janusz Walus is jail underway

FILE PICTURE: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - 1997: Janusz Walus, Chris Hani's killer during his amnesty hearing at Benoni Town Hall. (Photo by Gallo Images/Oryx Media Archive).
FILE PICTURE: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - 1997: Janusz Walus, Chris Hani's killer during his amnesty hearing at Benoni Town Hall. (Photo by Gallo Images/Oryx Media Archive).

The application by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha for leave to appeal against a judgment which ordered the release of Chris Hani’s murderer got underway at the Palace of Justice in Pretoria on Tuesday morning.

Hani’s widow Limpho was present in court as well as South African Communist Party members‚ who occupied the back bench in the courtroom.

The application came just two days after the 23rd anniversary of Hani’s assassination was commemorated in Boksburg on Sunday‚ at which Limpho Hani reiterated her opposition to Walus being paroled.

In public speeches and interviews‚ she has claimed there is more to know about who sanctioned Hani’s assassination‚ and why.

Masutha turned down Walus’s application for parole on April 10 last year. But Walus‚ who is serving time in the Kgosi Mampuru II prison in Pretoria‚ secured a court order for his release on parole in the high court in Pretoria when he asked the court to review Masutha’s decision to refuse his parole application. The court ordered that he be released within 14 days of the order but his release was placed on hold by Masutha’s application.

Walus shot and killed Hani – who was the secretary-general of the South African Communist Party‚ a member of the African National Congress’s national executive committee and uMkhonto we Sizwe leader – when negotiations to end apartheid were taking place‚ on Easter Sunday April 10‚ 1993.

He was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in October 1993. In November 2000‚ his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

Walus‚ 63‚ has been serving his sentence for 23 years.

His co-conspirator Clive Derby-Lewis‚ also jailed for life‚ was released on medical parole last year because he is suffering from lung cancer.

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