Chris Hani’s murderer Janusz Walus would soon dance to a harder beat of the nation’s music following Justice Minister Michael Masutha appeal against the court order granting parole to Hani’s murderer.
Speaking further, the ministry revealed on Wednesday that the Justice Minister has filed an appeal against the court order to grant parole to Chris Hani’s assassin Janusz Walus.
“The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Adv Michael Masutha, has decided to appeal against the judgment delivered by the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Pretoria on 10 March 2016,” it said.
The legal representatives of the minister have today filed and served a notice of application for leave to appeal against the judgment with the registrar of the high court.
“The minister believes that the honourable court erred in its judgment and is of the view that there are prospects of success on appeal and that the Appeal Court will arrive at a different conclusion,” justice ministry spokesman Mthunzi Mhaga said.
We will recall that justice Minister Masutha had earlier refused to grant Chris Hani’s killer -Walus parole but his decision was overturned on March 10 by Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen, who ordered the minister to set Chris’ paraole condition within 14 days of the judgment.
Nieuwenhuizen’s judgment led to public outcry, with Hani’s widow Mpho calling the ruling ‘racist’.
Chris Hani, was a senior member of the now-ruling African National Congress (ANC) and head of the South African Communist Party. His murder triggered nationwide riots, almost derailing South Africa’s 1994 transition to multi-racial democracy after decades of white apartheid rule.
63-year-old Walus shot and killed Hani on Easter Sunday April 10, 1993, after he left then communist Poland in 1981 to join his father and brother in South Africa.
He was initially sentenced to death, but this was converted to life in prison after the abolition of capital punishment. He has been in jail for more than 20 years.
On the other hand, Clive Derby-Lewis‚ who was convicted of being a co-conspirator in Hani’s murder and supplying the gun used by Walus‚ was granted medical parole in May 2015 after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.
The ANC had called for Chris Hani’s killer, Walus, a Polish immigrant to be deported, while the SACP said it would fully support an appeal.
Meanwhile, the South African Communist Party (SACP) has welcomed the decision by Justice Minister Michael Masutha to appeal a ruling granting Janusz Waluś’ parole.
SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo asserted that the communist party found several flaws and loopholes in the court’s judgement.
“We said on that day that we will call on the Minister of Justice to appeal the judgement and we are glad that he listened, studied the judgement and arrived at his own independent decision,” Mashilo said.
In the meantime, Walus’ lawyer, Julian Knight, says he will request that Walus be placed on parole even if a court decides to hear the justice minister’s appeal. Knight opined that Walus can only report back to prison if a court back-pedals the parole ruling.