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

Misfortunes are happening in rapid succession for convicted assassin Janusz Waluś, who is expected to be released on parole on Thursday as warranted by the Constitutional Court.

The Polish immigrant and sympathiser of the now-defunct Conservative opposition, Waluś was arrested for assassinating struggle for liberation hero Chris Hani on April 10 1993, during the unrest preceding the transition to democracy.

Waluś’ imminent parole has been met with harsh criticism by the tripartite alliance comprising the ANC, SACP, and trade union federation Cosatu.

During a protest headed to the Kgosi Mampuru prison on Wednesday, Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi said the alliance partners are not challenging the apex court or any judge involved in the matter, but were there to register their dissatisfaction.

He said the alliance suspects Waluś will be released on Wednesday and that they want to make sure he does not feel like a “hero” when he walks into freedom, saying the protestors want to witness as he takes his “walk of shame”.

“We suspect that this man will be released today. When he takes that walk of shame out of this prison, he must find us outside, so that we can remind him that we have not forgotten about what he did in 1993,” said Lesufi.

According to Lesufi, Waluś did not only kill Hani, but he is now also using democracy to warrant his release on parole. He said they are registering their dissatisfaction over the fact that he killed Hani “in a manner that he tried to block the democracy that he is ironically using” to escape detention.

“[The protest] is just for him. When he takes that walk of shame, he must be aware that South Africans are out here still registering the dissatisfaction the same way we did when he assassinated Chris Hani, and when he was later sent [to jail].”

Waluś, who was sentenced to life in prison and has only served 29 years of the sentence, is receiving medical treatment after a failed attempt at his life. This after one of the inmates at the same housing unit stabbed him in the stomach on Tuesday afternoon, an incident that was later confirmed by the Department of Correctional Services.

In the ruling pertinent to his parole application last week, 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 and correctional services Ronald Lamola] accepts that the applicant has shown strong remorse for the crime he committed,” reads the judgment.

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

The SACP wants the court to scrap the parole altogether.

Speaking to the media during the protest, SACP general secretary Solly Mapaila said Waluś does not deserve to be released on parole, adding that the SACP has filed an application at the Constitutional Court disputing his imminent release.

He said the party hopes the court will make a decision before Waluś is released.

“We believe that Janusz Waluś did not deserve this parole, because he did not tell the truth … and he did not apologise. We only learnt through some court papers that he had tried to apologise to the family, which was untrue,” said Mapaila.

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

ANC, SACP and COSATU condemn attack on Chris Hani memorial

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