Pretoria - The SACP will fight the release of Janusz Walus tooth and nail.
SACP spokesperson Alex Mashilo said their position had not changed and they will fight parole. “We remain firm that he has to remain in jail. Nothing will divert us from this. This has been a long and emotional journey for the SACP and the Hani family. They lost a father and husband and the SACP has lost a leader.”
“Our stance from the start was that we want a full disclosure of the truth. We believe he does not deserve to be released. He is an unrepentant murderer.”
Chris Hani’s killer is expected to know by January next year whether he will be placed on parole.
The Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, threw the ball back into the hands of Justice Minister Michael Masutha. This will be the third time that the minister had to reconsider parole for Walus. On each of the previous occasions, he refused parole.
Judge Selby Baqwa on Thursday reviewed and set aside the latest refusal by the minister to place the 63-year-old Walus on Parole. He referred the matter back to the minister and said Masutha must, within 120 days of this order, reconsider parole.
The judge further ordered that Masutha had to make his decision after Walus was given the opportunity to respond to a previous report by the Parole Board, in which it was, among others, stated that Walus regretted Hani the husband and father, but that he did not regret that he had shot Hani the communist.
The report also stated that Walus had not completed certain recommended courses in jail, while Walus in fact, did provide proof that he had completed these courses. It was on strength of this report that the minister refused parole.
Walus was given 30 days by Judge Baqwa to respond to the report, while the SACP and Limpho Hani has 30 days to comment on Walus’ responses.
Walus’ lawyer, Julian Knight, meanwhile said it was frustrating that the ball was being kicked backed to the minister all the time. “I am happy on the one hand that we won and the matter is referred back to the minister. But on the other hand, it is like a merry-go-round. This is the third time that the minister had to decide on Walus’ parole.”
Knight said the consequence of this judgment is that each offender who applied for parole, now has the opportunity of making representations following negative findings by the parole board, which resulted in a refusal of parole.
In this case, the judge said Walus had to be given the opportunity to counter the negative findings before the matter went to the minister for the final say.