The man who murdered SA Communist Party (SACP) general secretary Chris Hani in 1993 may have secured another victory in the North Gauteng High Court after a judge dismissed the state’s application for leave to appeal an earlier court ruling which ordered the release of Janusz Walus on parole, but the Polish assassin will not be going home just yet.
The Hani family, SACP and the department of justice and correctional services will be approaching the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) to petition the decision, with strong allegations levied against Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen calling her “racist, biased and unprofessional”.
At the same time lawyers for Walus will also approach the courts to have him released pending the outcome of the decision by the SCA, an application which will also be challenged by the justice department with the full backing of the Hani family and the SACP.
In her written judgment, Janse van Nieuwenhuizen yesterday dismissed the appeal, stating it would not have a reasonable prospect of success and that the state failed to provide compelling reasons for the appeal to be heard.
Speaking moments after the five-minute judgment handed down by Janse van Nieuwenhuizen, Hani’s widow, Limpho, said she was disappointed but not surprised by the outcome.
“It means she (Janse van Nieuwehuizen) is not confident about her decision (to release Walus on parole), that’s why she denied the leave to appeal. She brought her baggage into the courtroom. We’re going to Bloemfontein, she won’t be there. This is her village, but this is the end of her kingdom,” said Limpho.
Following the ruling, Mthunzi Mhaga, spokesperson for Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha, said although the minister’s application was dismissed, the next move was to petition a higher court.
“You have to go to the Supreme Court of Appeal and show them that this court which is below you has erred in not granting us leave to appeal. Please look at the papers, records of proceedings and the judgment then decide or set aside that earlier order denying us access to the appeal court.
“If they are convinced there are prospects of success, they will grant it (the leave to appeal). We will present the same arguments we have been raising here, that the earlier court order was based on a misdirection. We will put a strong argument so they will grant us leave to appeal. We believe that she misdirected herself.”