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Why the assassin must not be granted parole
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Umsebenzi Online

Volume 15, No. 24, 14 July 2016

In this Issue:


Red Alert

Unrepentant, unremorseful and unrehabilitated murderer Janusz Walus must remain in prison

By Alex Mashilo

On Tuesday, 12 July the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) communicated its decision granting the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Advocate Michael Masutha leave to appeal against parole for Janusz Walus, the cold blooded murderer of Comrade Chris Hani. At the time of the assassination on 10 April 1993, Hani was the South African Communist Party (SACP) General Secretary and a member of the National Executive Committee of the African National Congress (ANC). He has served in various capacities in the joint SACP and ANC liberation army, uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK), rising through its ranks. He became the MK's last Chief of Staff. He was a prominent leader engaged in a programme for peace, justice, political liberation and social emancipation. He criss-crossed the country in the early 1990s ensuring the suspension of armed struggle, implementing a decision taken by the ANC as a contribution towards building a peaceful transition to democracy.

Hani's assassination drove South Africa to the brink of a civil war with catastrophic consequences.

Walus said that he hated communist leadership and that this was one of his driving motivations to murder Hani. This is one of the fundamental problems the SACP has with the North Gauteng High Court Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen's order in March granting parole to the murderer. Walus's own psychological report in prison during that period clearly stated that he had a healthy psychiatric record - but that his hatred for communist leadership - which is what he himself said motivated him to murder Hani - remained intact.

There can be no doubt that Walus is unrehabilitated, in addition to being unrepentant and unremorseful. He wants to be forgiven for murdering Hani not only without making a full disclosure of the truth surrounding the assassination, BUT ALSO WITHOUT FORGIVING COMMUNIST LEADERSHIP IN THE PERSONS OF THE SACP, ITS LEADERS AND MEMBERS FOR HAVING DONE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG TO HIM. Those who expressed support for Walus in this unreasonable expectation are similarly unreasonable. Reconciliation is not a one way street. The families and organisations of the victim of his crime must find closure. He must fully co-operate in ensuring this happens. Reconciliation is a two way process. It cannot be any form of justice for an unremorseful, unrepentant and unrehabilitated cold-blooded murderer to be forgiven WITHOUT BEING FORGIVING HIMSELF FOR NOTHING WRONG COMMITTED TO HIM BY HIS VICTIM, HIS FAMILY AND ORGANISATION!

The SACP will again join the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services in ensuring that justice serves its course. The Party's legal team will support the Minister's appeal at the SCA and make a representation on what it found to be serious legal difficulties and loopholes with Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen's March decision granting parole to Walus. It is important to note that when the SACP constructively criticised her decision, some sections of society said the Party was wrong!

They were dead silent on Tuesday after the SCA contradicted her by agreeing that there were reasonable prospects of success to appeal against her decision and granted the leave to appeal. This was also a blow to those who suggest that citizens must not express their views if they see things differently from judicial decisions. Within the judiciary itself, as the SCA order granting leave to appeal demonstrates, interpretation of the law is not the same. There are different points of view. This is why higher courts do reverse decisions arrived at by lower courts. It is also exactly why within higher courts there are descending minority judgements.

What is very important to stress in this regard is that the so-called independent constitutional law expects who supported Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen's decision, with some of them further accusing the SACP of pushing for the appeal against her decision allegedly out of emotions rather than points of law, were also dead silent on Tuesday, until today. Some of them are lecturing in our universities - students must be careful of their political opinions and wishes presented as the only correct interpretation of law!

Alex Mashilo is SACP National Spokesperson and Head of Communications, he writes in his capacity as a professional revolutionary


Zimbabwe: The uprising

In Zimbabwe we are witnessing an unprecedented uprising by the Zimbabwean people against a regime of plunderers. Some ignorant and uninformed politicians have referred to the suffering Zimbabwean people as "sponsored elements seeking regime change". Perhaps they believe that the ZANU(PF) government should elect a new people.

Let me quote from the Preamble of the recently circulated Draft Action Plan for Zimbabweans in South Africa:

"It is clear that the Zimbabwe under the ZANU(PF) regime led by Robert Mugabe is in its worst crisis ever. Unlike in other countries where workers go on strike for more money, in Zimbabwe workers go on strike merely to get paid. This crisis, one that the ZANU(PF) government has no way of getting out of led on Wednesday 6th July 2016 to a Day of Action on an unprecedented scale.

"Unlike in previous times, where workers would take action and then return to work to feed their families, few people have paid work to return to. The only option left to the ordinary Zimbabwean people is to bring down the ZANU (PF) government.

"Even seen from the point of view of the government, they also have no solution. They have not understood how to organise production - whether in the capitalist mode, the socialist mode or something in between.

"Even their 'all-weather friend', China, is now fed up with trying to bail out a government with no plan and in which the elite continues to plunder for its own self-enrichment. They can see no development from the money they have poured in. After his recent visit, President Xi left Zimbabwe angry. They have no friend left.

"The government is now incapable of ruling: the people of Zimbabwe can no longer survive without change."

This largely uprising without clear leadership from any established Zimbabwean party has, in fact, surprised much of the old opposition leadership. The demonstration at the Zimbabwe Consulate in Johannesburg which I was privileged to attend was remarkable for its unity. Patriotic songs were sung in both Shona and Ndebele and the unifying symbol was the Zimbabwe flag. A protocol was established early on that although speakers would name the organisation which they represented, no one would speak further of their own party or its leader. Reports from Zimbabwe suggest the same.

So what triggered the uprising?

As stated above: workers in Zimbabwe do not go on strike for more money. They go on strike simply to be paid. In this case civil servants, teachers and medical staff had not been paid because there was no money in the country.

A church pastor, Evans Mawarire began the "This Flag" campaign, the combination of the strike and the patriotic non-party campaign was the spark needed to ignite the fire. Following last week's events, Evans Mawarire was searched for by the police and has now given himself up voluntarily. We have heard no more news since then.

Even before this current strike, there has been a spate of non-payment strikes throughout Zimbabwe.

Workers at the National Railways of Zimbabwe had not been paid for 14 months when they finally went on strike. In Chitungwiza the huge township next to Harare (comparable to Soweto) municipal workers went on strike after not being paid for four months and were savagely beaten by the police.

But where does money come from?

It comes from production. Zimbabwe is now at a standstill. In Bulawayo, once the industrial hub, most of the factories are now closed and many have been turned into Pentecostal churches.

In Harare recently street vendors trying to scratch a living were beaten by the police although they (mostly women) fought back bravely.

And how are the leadership doing. They have accumulated a great deal of wealth and are not afraid to exhibit it.

After the 2008 election, when Zimbabwe was already in deep crisis, every Minister was given a brand new imported Mercedes Benz AND a Pajero - this in an economy that is far weaker than South Africa's.

Just last year, ZANU(PF) National Political Commissar and Minister of Local Government Saviour Kasukuwere built himself a 50 roomed palace. This is in contrasts with 'Operation Murambatsvina' in 2005 when throughout the country, the backyard shacks of the poor were destroyed and thousands left homeless. This government clearly sees the working-class and the poor as the enemy.

Let me quote from a paper that I wrote in 2013 entitled The Dual Nature of the African Struggle:

"In Zimbabwe, the Land Reform was celebrated throughout Africa. But what really happened? 

"The movement was started by former freedom fighters after the Draft Constitution of 2000 was narrowly defeated in a referendum. It was a genuinely popular movement. In the middle of 2001, Chenjerai Hunzvi and Border Gezi, the leaders of the movement died within 6 weeks of each other. 

"The black bourgeoisie, especially in Harare started to greedily eye the best white-owned farms for themselves. They would wait for a crop to ripen and then take over the farm. The farm workers, mostly people of Malawian, Zambian or Mozambican origin would be told that they were not Zimbabweans and had no rights - even though most of them were second or third generation. As the majority of the 'new farmers' were city dwellers, the farms were neglected, workers not paid and there are many cases of workers being subjected to beatings.

Further, there are numerous cases of farms being occupied by local people in 2000 only to be told in 2002 that their farm had been allocated to such-and-such minister or army officer.

"'Nationalisation' Zimbabwe style means the allocation of the majority of shares formerly owned by a white businessman to a black nominee of government.

The ruling 'nationalist' party, while attacking the imperialists has become a tool for looting the economy used by the parasitic black bourgeoisie and has by so doing effectively expelled the majority of the skilled workforce from the country."

Ian Beddowes is General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Communist League. There are two other Communist organisations in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe Communist Group led by Comrade Nicholas Mabhena and the Communist Movement of Zimbabwe led by Comrade Tatenda Mombeyara. The three organisations have good relationship and are working towards the building of a single Zimbabwe Communist Party.