Janusz Waluś walks out of prison hospital straight to freedom

South African struggle for liberation hero Chris Hani’s killer, Janusz Waluś, is officially out of jail on parole, the Department of Correctional Services confirmed on Wednesday.

Waluś was due for release on Thursday last week, however, the department said it would keep him under medical care after he was stabbed by another inmate at the Kgosi Mampuru correctional facility on November 29.

According to the department, Waluś, who was discharged from hospital earlier on Wednesday, has been medically cleared to be released.

“The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, has placed offender Janus Waluś on parole under strict conditions with effect from Wednesday, December 7 2022. This follows the judgment of the Constitutional Court handed down on Monday, November 21 2022,” the department said in a statement.

“Offender Waluś was only discharged from hospital today [December 7 2022], as he had been receiving treatment after he was involved in a stabbing incident. He will serve two years under community corrections in line with the parole regime upon which he is released.”

The announcement of his parole by the apex court was met with harsh criticism by the tripartite alliance comprising the ANC, SACP, and trade union federation Cosatu, who gathered at the Constitutional Court in Braamfontein, Johannesburg last week to picket against the court ruling.

The Hani family is also unhappy with the ruling.

Hani’s wife Limpho has been saying during engagements with the media that the release of Waluś is tantamount to killing her husband all over again. According to President Cyril Ramaphosa, the decision to release Hani’s assassin is disappointing, to say the least.

However, the department said its decision is not “in the spirit of avenging a stalwart of our liberation struggle, but it has always been within the context of giving effect to the interests of justice, from the perspective of what the sentencing court sought to achieve”.

“There is no question that offender Waluś is a polarising figure in our budding constitutional democracy, and that his release has understandably reopened wounds among some in society, especially the family of the late struggle icon Chris Hani.

“Offender Waluś’ actions sought to derail the democratic project at its most critical, formative stage, when the choice of either setting the country on a sustainable path of peace, democracy and reconciliation on the one hand, or chaos, civil strife and blood-letting on the other, was constantly one bad decision away.

“His killing of Hani was unqualifiedly among those actions that sought to condemn the country to the latter fate, had it not been for the inspired leadership of our nation’s founders and the resolve of the people of South Africa,” it said.

Waluś gunned down Hani at his home in Dawn Park near Boksburg, on the east of Johannesburg in April 1993, in what the rightwingers thought would derail plans for the country’s first democratic election in 1994.

Also read: Chris Hani’s killer Janusz Waluś stabbed in prison

We’ll be here when Waluś takes that walk of shame – Lesufi

Court’s decision to release Hani’s killer ‘disappointing’ – Ramaphosa

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