Court orders Ronald Lamola to reconsider granting Chris Hani’s murderer parole

Januz Walusz. File photo: AFP PHOTO

The court ordered that the justice minister should reconsider the matter within 60 days, and it set aside an earlier decision to refuse Janusz Walus parole.

The ministry of justice said on Thursday that Minister Ronald Lamola will first acquaint himself with the decision handed down by the High Court in Pretoria in the Janusz Walus matter before proceeding “further”.

Walus is serving a life sentence for the 1993 murder of South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Chris Hani.

The court reviewed and set aside former Justice Minister Michael Masutha’s January 16 decision refusing to place Walus on parole.

Masutha was replaced by Lamola following this year’s general elections.

Lamola was ordered to within 60 days “take a fresh decision” on the matter.

The minister was also ordered to pay Walus’ costs for the application which “include the costs of two counsel”.

IOL reported that Walus had asked the court to issue an order that he be released on parole, however, the judge in the matter, Judge Jody Kollapen, said the administrator was best equipped and experienced to decide on the matter.

It was reported that Kollapen found that there was agreement among the experts and psychologists that Walus had shown remorse for Hani’s murder and that he was a low risk in terms of committing a further offence.

The judge reportedly also found that Lamola’s predecessor had not been biased or unreasonable when refusing to grant Walus parole.

Hani’s widow, Limpo, and the SACP’s chairperson Senzeni Zokwana were reportedly in court when the order was made.

Zokwana told the publication that the communist party was pleased with the fact that it has 60 days to make representations in the matter.

Zokwana reportedly said Walus should not be granted parole until he was completely honest and transparent about Hani’s murder.

Hani’s widow did not comment on the order.

The African News Agency reported at the time that Masutha had said though Walus expressed remorse for the suffering experienced by Hani’s family, “he showed no remorse for murdering Chris Hani the communist leader” and had rationalised “his actions and insists that they were politically motivated”.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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