Clive Derby-Lewis and Janusz Walus appear in front of the Truth and Reconcilaition Commission in June 1997. Picture: ADIL BRADLOW/PICTURENET AFRICA
None - Clive Derby-Lewis and Janusz Walus appear in front of the Truth and Reconcilaition Commission in June 1997. Picture: ADIL BRADLOW/PICTURENET AFRICA

The Supreme Court of Appeal has given Justice Minister Michael Masutha up to three months to pronounce on the possible parole of Janusz Walus‚ the murderer of liberation fighter Chris Hani who is serving a life sentence.

In March 2016‚ the high court in Pretoria set aside the minister’s decision to deny Walus parole. Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen ordered the minister to set conditions for Walus’s parole and release him within 14 days. However‚ the minister objected. But Judge van Nieuwenhuizen refused him leave to appeal her decision‚ saying the bid had no reasonable prospect of success. This meant Masutha had to petition the SCA to hear his appeal.

The SCA ordered on Friday: "The appeal is upheld‚ with no order as to costs. The matter is remitted to (Masutha) for his reconsideration and decision within 90 calendar days of this order."

A victim impact statement submitted by the SA Communist Party leader's widow‚ Limpho Hani‚ to the parole board during an earlier process‚ was amongst the factors dealt with by the SCA. Mrs Hani said Walus was withholding the full truth about the murder. She believes there are other conspirators in her husband's murder and that Walus retains this information.

The judgment stated: "...The procedural irregularity began when the parole board submitted the respondent’s profile for the minister’s consideration on the basis of information‚ which included the victim impact statement submitted to it‚ without affording the respondent an opportunity to respond thereto. It was completed when the minister made the decision without considering those representations...".

In November 2016‚ Walus co-conspirator and former Conservative Party MP Clive Derby-Lewis died. He had been released on medical parole the previous year after serving 20 years in prison for the assassination of the SA Communist Party leader. Derby-Lewis‚ 80‚ who supplied the gun Walus used to kill Hani‚ had been diagnosed with stage four cancer.

 - TMG Digital.


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