Cape Town – Janusz Waluś, the man who murdered South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Chris Hani reportedly approached the Constitutional Court on Tuesday, as he sought to challenge a decision denying him parole.
According to Times Live, Waluś was sentenced to death in 1993, however, following the abolition of the death penalty in South Africa, the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
Waluś first became eligible for parole in 2005, after serving 13 years and four months of his life sentence.
However, despite his legal representatives’ claims that he was fully rehabilitated and remorseful, the government has rejected Waluś parole application at least four times.
On March 16, 2020, Waluś petitioned the Constitutional Court to review the government’s decision to deny his parole release.
Walus’ lawyer, Roelof du Plessis, argued that ministers were political appointees appointed by the ANC, which was an alliance partner of the SACP, making it difficult for any minister to make this decision, News24 reported.
But Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola’s lawyer MTK Moerane, dismissed these claims, saying they were without merit.
“The minister stated under oath that he did not consult his political comrades and that he took the decision in his capacity as the minister of justice and correctional services,” the report quoted Moerane as saying.
Du Plessis further stressed Waluś had met all of the requirements for parole and that there was nothing else against him besides the death sentence, according to Times Live.
However, Justice Nonkosi Mhlantla questioned Du Plessis on whether Waluś had fully satisfied the restorative justice process, which required him to engage with Hani’s wife, Limpho, and the SACP, who are opposing his release.
Du Plessis said Waluś had apologised but both the Hani family and the SACP had refused to accept the apology and there was nothing more he could do.
EWN reported that advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, who represented the Hani family and the SACP, said Hani’s assassination was more than just murder; it was the murder of a person who represented the future.
“The nature of this crime is such that it cannot be mooted as the murder of a person. It’s the murder of a country, the murder of a society, the murder of its democratic dream and it’s the murder of his family,” the report quoted Sikhakhane as saying.
Meanwhile, Hani’s wife, said that she would never forgive Waluś.
“He didn’t talk to me, he said he’s sorry to you the media. In any case, I’d never forgive him. He took my husband’s life, my children’s father,” the report quoted Limpho as saying.
Judgment has been reserved.
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo