The lawyer of a convicted murderer, Janusz Walus, has accused Justice Minister Ronald Lamola of using what he terms his misinterpretation of the law to reject his client’s parole bid. Julian Knight says they will challenge Lamola’s decision.
The Minister on Monday said he considered numerous aspects with regards to the matter involving the murderer of SACP secretary-general, Chris Hani. These include previous court judgments and the fact the crime was pre-planned.
Media Statement For Immediate Release:
PAROLE DECISION FOR JANUSZ WALUS pic.twitter.com/rCCGSyHCaU
— Minister of Justice and Correctional Services 🇿🇦 (@RonaldLamola) March 16, 2020
Walus is serving life imprisonment after shooting Hani outside his home in Boksburg east of Johannesburg in April 1993. He was initially sentenced to death.
Knight says they are set to take Lamola’s decision on review soon.
“The minister doesn’t understand the law. You know on what basis do you have Janus Walus singled out every time for a different reason? And this is apolitical murder when you have a history many other similar people being placed on parole for exactly the same crime. How can you distinguish one person?”
The Pretoria High Court had set aside former Justice Minister Michael Masutha’s decision to refuse Walus parole in September 2018. The court said that the parole board failed to include relevant information in its recommendation to Masutha. This included the failure by the parole board to offer Walus a chance to reply to its suggestion that he remains incarcerated.
The decision then went back to Minister Lamola to decide the fate of Hani’s murderer.