Top court to rule on political assassin Janusz Waluś’ parole bid

21 November 2022 - 08:50 By TimesLIVE
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The Constitutional Court will on Monday afternoon rule on Janusz Waluś’ latest attempt to secure parole.

The Polish immigrant, who killed anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani in 1993, is serving a life sentence at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Facility.

Waluś asked the apex to set aside the Supreme Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss his leave to appeal against a high court judgment that upheld the refusal of his parole by justice and correctional services minister Ronald Lamola in March 2020. 

Among Lamola’s reasons for denying the parole application was that the trial court which had jailed him had wanted to send a message that would clarify that assassinating political leaders was unacceptable.

Waluś said it was of public importance to establish the reasons and grounds for his continued incarceration.

“If I do not succeed with this application, it appears I will be incarcerated forever, which is an unjust, inhumane and cruel punishment,” he said.

According to the correctional services manuals which came into effect after 1994, Waluś said he should have been eligible for parole after serving 13 years and four months behind bars. He argued he was met with “continuous shifting of the goalposts and new reasons for refusing parole by different ministers”.

Arguing he had done everything possible to prove he had reformed, he said in his papers to court he had turned over a new leaf, realised apartheid was wrong and had grown closer to God during his almost 30-year incarceration. He said he had tried many times to convey his apology to Hani’s widow Limpho and his children.

Waluś said he was no longer a danger to anyone.

“I submit I have demonstrated I have become completely rehabilitated, that I will not repeat such a crime, a similar offence or any crime for that matter in future. I am genuinely sorry for what I have done.”

The slain South African Communist Party leader’s widow has consistently opposed the parole bids by Waluś, saying the crime shook the very core of the democratic and free society the country was trying to build at the time.

The motive for the murder was not only personal but carefully designed to thrust the country into a political catastrophe, she said in court papers.

She believes Waluś has failed to make a full disclosure about the murder and his assassination of her husband was intended to be the first of many political assassinations.


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