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Why the assassin must not be granted parole
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Umsebenzi Online

Volume 16, No. 08, 8 May 2017

In this Issue:


Red Alert

"We remember Chris Hani, and we despise Walus" - Communist Party of Poland

By the Communist Party of Poland and Umsebenzi Online

Communist Party of Poland members picket in Warsaw, Poland, 5 May 2017 |
Pic: Communist Party of Poland

The Communist Party of Poland held a picket on Friday, 5 May 2017 in Warsaw, Poland commemorating the 24th anniversary of the cowardly assassination of Chris Hani, General Secretary of the South African Communist Party (SACP). Hani was killed on 10 April 1993 by Janusz Walus, a Polish immigrant in South Africa. Walus` convicted accomplice Clive Derby-Lewis died in 2016. Several dozen people demonstrated in front of the Presidential Palace in response to nationalists and racists who were demanding the release of Waluś from prison.

The members of the Communist Party of Poland and supporters had portraits of Chris Hani with slogans:  "We remember" and "Murderer`s place is in prison" and crossed picture of Walus. They were reminding the public that Walus, the cold blooded murderer wanted to cause a civil war in South Africa, refuses to tell who was his real paymaster and does not regret his act. SACP statements were also read out at the picket.  The participants chanted slogans: "We remember Chris Hani, and we despise Waluś"; "Warsaw free of racism!"

The picket in Warsaw coincided with an appeal against parole for Walus at the Supreme Court of Appeals in Bloemfontein, South Africa. The murderer, whose death penalty was commuted to life sentence applied for parole stating that remaining in prison would cause him irreversible harm.

SACP members arrive at a picket against parole for Janusz Walus,
Supreme Court of Appeals, Bloemfontein, 5 May 2017 | Pic: Umsebenzi Online

On the same day SACP members picketed outside the Supreme Court of Appeals in Bloemfontein against the parole. The Supreme Court of Appeals postponed the appeal hearing to 29 May 2017. The Court stated that it was concerned of an irregularity that occurred when a consideration was made whether to grant parole to Walus. The Hani family, the victim impact statement was not considered when the decision on whether to grant Walus parole was taken. The postponement was to allow additional heads of arguments pertaining to the irregularity.

The decision was very much correct. It stood in sharp contrast to the unfair argument advanced by the North Gauteng High Court Judge Nicoline Janse Van Niewenhuizen who granted Walusz parole a year ago. Judge Van Niewenhuizen remarked that the views of the Hani family did not matter, and that the family had to move on after 23 years of the murder. The SACP condemned these inconsiderate, insensitive and uncaring remarks. The Party believes that the remarks played a central role in Judge Van Niewenhuizen`s decision to grant Walus parole.

Walus`s own psychological evaluation from prison states that he still harbours his hatred for communists which he admittedly said was what drove him to kill Hani. He remains a danger not only to communists but to the South African and other democratic societies and to the development of democracy in South Africa. The country`s democratic transition was achieved in 1994, a year after Walus was arrested for the murder.

The circumstances behind the assassination of Hani have not been fully disclosed. The SACP wants to know the full truth. Walusz has a duty to co-operate. He also has a duty to co-operate in the victim-offender dialogue that Judge Van Niewenhuizen blatantly ignored in granting him parole.


Umsebenzi Online is an online voice of the South African working class