Janusz Waluś released from prison on parole

Nomazima Nkosi Senior reporter
Janusz Walus has officially been placed on parole from Wednesday.
Janusz Walus has officially been placed on parole from Wednesday.
Image: Raymond Preston

Chris Hani's killer Janusz Walus has officially been placed on parole.

Walus was released from hospital today after receiving treatment following a stabbing a week ago.

In a statement, the department of justice and correctional services said Walus would serve two years under community corrections in line with the parole guidelines.

Last month, the Constitutional Court ordered the department of justice and correctional services to release Walus out on parole after serving 28 years for the 1993 assassination of former South African Communist Party general secretary.

The statement read: "There is no question that offender Walus is a polarizing figure in our budding constitutional democracy, and that his release has understandably re-opened wounds among some in society, especially the family of the late struggle icon ChrisHani.

"Offender Walus’ actions sought to derail the democratic project at its most critical, formative stage, when the choice of either setting the country on a sustainable path of peace, democracy and reconciliation on the one hand, or chaos, civil strife and blood-letting on the other, was constantly one bad decision away. His killing of Hani was unqualifiedly among those actions that sought to condemn the country to the latter fate, had it not been for the inspired leadership of our nation’s founders and the resolve of the people of South Africa."

Justice minister Ronald Lamola's spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said the previous decision to deny Walus parole wasn't in the spirit of avenging a stalwart of the liberation struggle, but it had always been within the context of giving effect to the interests of justice, from the perspective of what the sentencing court sought to achieve.

"Our parole system is not a wanton license for unaccountability and impunity. Neither does it nullify the original verdict and sentence imposed by the courts. Parole is an acknowledged part of our correctional system.

'It has proved to be a vital part of reformative treatment for the paroled person who is treated by moral suasion. This is consistent with the law; that everyone has the right not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause, and that sentenced offenders have the right to benefit from the least severe of the prescribed punishments," Phiri said.

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