JOHANNESBURG – The High Court in Pretoria has ruled that Janusz Walus, who was convicted of assassinating anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani in 1993, is be released on parole in the next 15 days.
Polish immigrant Walus and Clive Derby-Lewis were convicted of the murder after Walus shot Hani at his home in Boksburg.
At the time of his death Hani was the leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP).
The SACP was present for the judgment and spokesperson Alex Mashilo says they are disappointed but not surprised.
“We received the judgment with great disappointment, but in a way the signs that it will come out this way were there because the judge kept asking questions which suggested that she will make an order such as the one she made today.”
Lawyers representing Walus argued that he should be released on parole for the purposes of Ubuntu.
While the parole board gave him the green light to be freed, Justice Minister Michael Masutha refused, calling for further dialogue with the party and the Hani family.
Walus’s legal team argued that Masutha had been biased against their client, saying the justice minister’s decision not to grant the Polish-born man parole was solely because of political prejudice and interference.
Advocate Roelof du Plessis said forgiveness from the Hani family, the SACP and all South Africans was vital so that the country could move on.
Derby-Lewis was released from prison in June 2015 after serving 22 years.