Limpho Hani, SACP yet to file opposing papers in bid by Janusz Walus to be released
Pretoria - Both the SACP and the widow of Chris Hani - Limpho Hani - have yet to file their opposing papers in the bid by Janusz Walus in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, to be released on parole.
Walus, the Polish immigrant who assassinated Hani, SACP leader at the time, will launch his latest bid next month.
Both the party and Hani’s widow are cited as respondents in the application. They were given time frames as to when they had to file their opposing affidavits.
According to Walus’s lawyer, Julian Knight, Hani’s legal team had asked for an extension until the end of last month. But when the time came for them to file, they yet again asked for another extension.
Both the SACP and the Hani family on each occasion in the past vehemently opposed parole.
Walus will once again ask the court to either order his release or if it was not willing to do this, to refer the matter back to Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, for reconsideration.
The minister, in his opposing papers to this latest application, is still insisting that Walus must remain behind bars for the 1993 killing.
He referred to the harsh words the court had when it sentenced him to death at the time. It was later commuted to a life sentence when the death sentence was abolished.
Referring to the trial court's comments about the veracity of the assassination, Lamola in refusing parole said: “Placing offender Walus on parole would negate the severity that the court sought when sentencing him. With this premise, and balancing both negative and positive factors, the placement on parole for offender Walus is not approved at this stage.”
In his latest application, Walus said the minister relied upon the sentencing remarks and the nature of the crime made by the judge 27 years ago.
He said if reliance was made in all cases to sentencing remarks, many offenders would not be released on parole, which in terms of the law, they were entitled to.
According to him, the reasons advanced by the minister in refusing him parole, while he qualified for it a long time ago in law, showed bias against him. “The decision of the minister is clearly discriminatory in nature without any justification and it constitutes unfair discrimination in accordance with provisions of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act,” he said.
The minister meanwhile faces contempt proceedings in two other cases where inmates are allegedly entitled to parole.