Book troubles brother of Chris Hani assassin

By Zelda Venter Time of article published Feb 25, 2004

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Pretoria businessman Witold Walus, brother of Janusz Walus, who is serving a life sentence for his part in the killing of former SACP leader Chris Hani, is worried about a book about to be published about the assasination.

Witold Walus on Tuesday asked the Pretoria High Court in an urgent application to allow him the chance to look at the manuscript.

He asked for 30 days to consider the contents and to then decide whether he wanted to approach the court again if he felt it contained defamatory information regarding him.

Walus said he received a letter from Jacana Media, publishers of the book which is about the murders of Hani (who was murdered in 1993 in Boksburg), Dulcie September (who was murdered in France in September 1988) and Anton Lubowski (who was murdered in Windhoek in 1989).

In the letter, Walus said, he was informed that he was mentioned a number of times in the book. Walus then asked the publishers if he could see the manuscript. At first, they apparently agreed, but later on went back on this. He said he wanted to see whether his rights had been violated.

Advocate Nic Maritz SC argued on behalf of Walus that the letter implied that he (Walus) was part of "this whole messy, dirty scenario" (referring to the Hani killing).

Walus, in court papers, said the suggestion was made in the letter that he had been closely connected with his brother and other co-conspirators in the Hani murder and that he (the applicant) was "probably" involved in the murder plot.

Walus is of the opinion that the forthcoming book did not merely want to publish the findings of the court at the time of the Walus and Clive Derby-Lewis trial, but wanted to go further and suggest a so-called conspiracy theory, in which all three murders were linked.

The publishing company opposed the application and accused Walus of wanting to edit the manuscript, "like in the apartheid years". The publishers also said they did not know when the book would be published, as they were still busy with further research.

Jacana said it was not suggesting the applicant was involved in the Hani murder. The only suggestion was that there were three people on the scene when Hani was assassinated and that one of them left the country afterwards. The publishers said they only wanted to know from Walus whether he knew the third person. Judge John Motata reserved judgment.

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