Chris Hani’s killer to be freed

a janusz feb 29 INDEPENDENT MEDIA Janusz Walus  the man who pulled the trigger which killed Chris Hani  is due to be released from prison within 14 days. File photo: Juda Ngwenya/Independent Media

Pretoria - Janusz Walus – the man who pulled the trigger which killed SACP leader Chris Hani 23 years ago – is due to be released from prison within 14 days.

In the high court in Pretoria on Thursday, Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen ordered Walus’s release and referred the matter back to Justice Minister Michael Masutha to determine the conditions under which Walus had to be placed on parole.

Masutha in April last year turned down Walus’s application to be released on parole, stating that he further had to engage with the Hani family, who opposed his release.

The minister also at the time referred to the remarks by the judge who sentenced Walus in 1993. The judge, during sentencing, said the assassination was cold-blooded.

Walus, now 63, has spent 23 years behind bars at the Kgosi Mampuru II Prison in Pretoria.

The parole board in 2013 recommended Walus’s parole, but the minister had the last say because Walus was serving a life term, and the recommendation had to be forwarded to him.

Masutha only on April 10 last year responded to the application and turned it down.

Walus subsequently turned to the high court to set aside the decision by the minister.

First prize for him – which he achieved – was for the court to order his placement on parole. He, in the alternative, asked that the court refer the matter back to the minister for his reconsideration.

Judge Janse Van Nieuwenhuisen said “undue delay would be caused by referring the matter back to the minister”.

She commented that Masutha took nearly 18 months to reach a decision in this matter when he turned down the parole.

She also referred to a letter Walus had send to the Hani family in which he asked for their forgiveness. He, to this day, did not receive any reply.

The judge said it was “difficult to grasp” on what basis the Hani family’s refusal to engage with Walus could have caused the minister to refuse parole.

Pretoria News

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