Pretoria - Murdered SACP leader Chris Hani’s killer Janusz Walus will remain behind bars for at least six months after Justice Minister Michael Masutha on Wednesday turned down his parole application.
Masutha said there is a possibility that Walus could reoffend and that there is doubt over his remorse for the 1993 killing of Hani.
He said there were conflicting psychological reports reports between Walus’ psychologist and that of the State regarding Walus' readiness to face the outside world.
He said he had considered the contradictions and it was difficult for him to make a decision on the suitability for placement on parole at this stage.
The minister came to the decision that the two experts had to jointly assess Walus and file a joint report on the issues regarding the risk of reoffending and remorse..
“ It is directed that that a further profile be submitted within six months of this decision (to refuse parole) for my consideration.
"The offender should undergo individual psychotherapy with the psychologist to assist in addressing the challenges highlighted in the report of Dr Zelda Buitendag….The challenges include depression, suicidal thoughts and anger episodes.”
Buitendag, Walus’ own psychologist, said in a report that Walus has made some progress and is showing signs of remorse. She also said that he suffered from depression and has experienced explosive anger episodes.
Shane Govender, the State’s psychologist, stated Walus “asserts that he cannot change his political beliefs but he knows the difference between right and wrong”.
He also denounces violence as means to achieve political objectives.
Widow Limpo Hani and the SACP stood firm on their objection to parole and said they noted that Walus still required psychological treatment for depression and anger issues.
Another psychologist said in a report that Walus expressed remorse for the fact that Hani’s children are fatherless and his wife a widow, but he showed no remorse for killing Hani the communist leader.
It was said that he still rationalised his actions and insists that they were politically motivated.
The Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, last year threw the ball back into Masutha's hands and ordered that the minister had 120 days in which to decide whether Walus should be placed on parole or not.
Walus’ lawyer, Julian Knight, said this deadline was over early in January, but he was given a reprieve until Friday (January 18) to make his decision.
Masutha on Wednesday said he was a bit late in making his decision due to the fact that his office only received the representations from the Hani family and the SACP on January 8.
Knight earlier this week said, if the minister once again declined to place Walus on parole, he will again turn to court.
“But this time we will apply for direct access to the Constitutional Court.”
Knight, who was on Wednesday given the news on Walus by the Pretoria News, said that he was first going to study the reasons given by the minister for the refusal of parole, before he made any decisions about the way forward.
“I was fully expecting a negative decision. The minister latches onto any negativity to ignore the fact that all the reports stated that Walus’ chances of reoffending are minimal.”
Walus was at first given the death sentence for his role in Hani’s assassination. This was later commuted into life sentence. He has spent more than 25 years behind bars at the Kgosi Mampuru Prison.