Pretoria - A high court judge’s decision to order the release of Janusz Walus, the killer of former SACP leader Chris Hani, came under attack at the memorial lecture to honour the late anti-apartheid activist Ruth First.
ANC Soshanguve chairman George Matlala criticised the judge for the decision to release Walus in 14 days, saying it risked undermining Parliament. “A judge is not afraid to overturn the minister's decision,” he said, referring to Justice Minister Michael Masutha's decision last year not to grant Walus parole.
“No judge will dictate to us to forgive. Why should we forgive if Janusz Waluz has never asked for forgiveness?” he said. “Let’s fight tooth and nail to transform our judiciary. Our parliamentary democracy is weakened by these things”
Tshwane Young Communist League leader Kgabo Morifi said: “The assassination of comrade Chris was political. We want to know who sent Walus to kill comrade Chris?”
He spoke against some “sinister forces” that want to change the leadership of the ANC and the country under the disguise of hashtags #FeesMustFall and #ZumaMustFall.
Regarding protests against the use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction at tertiary institutions, he said: “We must be able to learn in our languages.” He urged communists to denounce corrupt elements manifesting themselves in the ANC.
“If it is true that the president has been captured by the Guptas as newspaper articles allege, then we are in trouble,” he said.
Despite being vocal about corruption in the ANC, he pledged the SACP’s support for the ANC in the upcoming municipal elections. “The ANC is not the enemy of the communist party,” he said.
SACP central committee member and key speaker Grace Pampiri, said First was passionate about helping the poor. Pampiri urged the audience to preserve the legacy of First and her husband Joe Slovo. She criticised the lacklustre performance of public services in the country.
First - an ANC and SACP member - was assassinated in 1982 with a letter bomb sent to Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo by the apartheid government.