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Concourt’s decision on Chris Hani killer Janusz Waluś’s latest bid for freedom to be heard today

Concourt’s decision on Chris Hani killer Janusz Waluś’s latest bid for freedom to be heard today

Cape Town – The Constitutional Court will this morning rule on Chris Hani’s killer Janusz Waluś’ bid for freedom and whether the decision by the Justice and Correctional Services Minister to deny Waluś parole in March 2020 was irrational.

The Constitutional Court reserved judgment after hearing Waluś’ latest of several bids to be released from parole in February this year.

Hani was the leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and chief of staff of uMkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC.

Concourt’s decision on Chris Hani killer Janusz Waluś’s latest bid for freedom to be heard today
Chris Hani delivers his speech in Johannesburg in this December 8, 1991 file photo. Picture: REUTERS/Patrick de Noirmont/Files

During that hearing, Waluś’ advocate Roelof du Plessis SC told the court that his client previously publicly apologised for what he had done.

Du Plessis argued the minister’s refusal to grant parole was discretionary and unlawful. He also said the minister took the decision after being pressured by his alliance partners.

However, the minister’s lawyer argued there was no merit in the argument that his client was under political pressure.

Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane for the Hani family and the SACP argued that Waluś was not merely the murderer of an individual, but that he was the murderer of a democratic dream.

Sikhakhane said: “It was a murder of the possibility of this nation becoming a democratic constitutional state, is a murder of a society and it was a murder of its democratic dream.

“It’s a murder of his family and a murder of his daughter who died after that, and it’s a murder of the entire democratic dream of a society and in that regard, our submission is that this court is not better placed to make a decision if it is not inclined to dismiss the application as we submit.”

Concourt’s decision on Chris Hani killer Janusz Waluś’s latest bid for freedom to be heard today
Chris Hani's daughter Linda Hani, late Chris Hani's wife Limpho Hani and SACP Deputy General Solly Mapaila during a parole hearing of Chrise Hani’s killer Janusz Waluś in Pretoria High Court in 2018. Picture: Bongani Shilulbane/African News Agency (ANA)

Waluś has applied for placement on parole on several occasions, but all such applications have been repeatedly refused by the minister.Waluś’s first parole hearing was held in 2011.

However, due to Mrs Hani’s absence at that parole hearing, the then minister declined the parole.

Waluś tried again in November 2013, April 2015 and in October 2017. In January 2019, the then minister again reconsidered Waluś parole and again refused it, this time citing conflicting psychological reports from three experts which he said made it difficult to make a decision.

Following the refusal of the application, Waluś had to approach court again in order to set aside the minister’s decision.

Concourt’s Judge Jody Kollapen found that it was neither rational nor reasonable in the circumstances on the basis that the “conflicting psychological reports” cited by the minister was an overstatement of the position.

He said the difference in opinion expressed was largely on a peripheral issue that had clearly been attended to and resolved.

mwangi.githahu@inl.co.za

Cape Argus

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