Walus will serve his parole in the country – Home Affairs

Janusz Waluś, the man responsible for the death of revered freedom fighter Chris Hani, will not be deported to Poland, but would serve his parole in South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs said on Monday.

The Constitutional Court ordered on Monday last week that Walus be paroled after several years of unsuccessfully trying to have the country’s authorities release him on parole. It said this should occur within 10 days.

“The minister notes the media speculation that Mr Waluś would serve his parole period in the Republic of Poland. In light of the exemption issued by the minister, this speculation cannot be correct and the Department of Home Affairs would not be involved in any deportation process of Mr Walus to the Republic of Poland,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The Department of Home Affairs’ stance is that Mr Waluś must serve his parole period in South Africa as part of his sentence.

“It is clear from the media reports that the embassy of the Republic of Poland believes that if Walus is deported to Poland, he won’t serve any parole in the Republic of Poland because the Constitutional Court judgment is not binding on that country.

“The minister of home affairs further believes that the heinous crime committed to the people of South Africa by murdering one of the icons of  the liberation struggle makes it obligatory that Mr Waluś must serve his parole period as part of sentence in the Republic of South Africa.”

The ANC and its alliance partners, the SACP and Cosatu, plan to gather at the Constitutional Court in Braamfontein, Johannesburg to picket against the ruling by the apex court.

In a joint statement, the alliance partners said many questions remain over the death of Hani, saying it is improper for his killer to be released without answering those questions.

“The weapon the assassins used was taken from military armoury under tight apartheid security conditions,” reads the statement announcing their picket.

“This is one of the numerous indicators that show the two assassins did not plan and execute the assassination alone and did not make full disclosure of the truth, as no other person was held accountable for the assassination of Chris Hani.”

Mr Waluś’ accomplice Clive Derby-Lewis died in 2016 due to terminal lung cancer. Derby-Lewis was also repeatedly denied parole after he began applying in 2010, after objections from the family of Hani.

In the ruling, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said the Bill of Rights must be applied equally, including to someone like Waluś, who qualified for parole 15 years ago.

“It was in 2005 that the applicant became eligible for consideration to be placed on parole. The minister [of Justice Ronald Lamola] accepts that the applicant has shown strong remorse for the crime he committed.

“The evidence reveals that during his imprisonment all these years since 1993, the applicant has had no negative disciplinary record in prison,” reads the judgment.

“The minister accepts that the applicant’s risk of reoffending, if he were to be placed on parole, is low. The applicant has apologised to Mrs Hani and her family more than once.

“The applicant cannot do anything about the nature of the crime he committed, nor can he do anything about the sentence remarks that the trial court had made about him and the crime of which he has committed.”

In 1999, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) refused Waluś’ application for amnesty. The TRC, which was headed by the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said it based its decision on the belief that Waluś failed to make a full disclosure and much-needed closure for his victims.

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

The Polish-born Waluś was sentenced to death, but the sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment after a democratic South Africa abolished the capital punishment.

At the time of his death, Hani, who was largely seen as a future president of South Africa, was the general secretary of the SACP. He also served as chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC.

Hani’s widow, Limpho, has already expressed her disgust at the decision by the Zondo-led Constitutional Court.

“This judgment is diabolical. I have never seen anything like this. My understanding of Zondo’s judgment is that he is indirectly saying Waluś did well by killing my husband,” she told the media after the judgment was handed down.

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