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Chris Hani’s murderer denied parole for the second time

25 years ago, the South African Communist party leader and chief of staff of the uMkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress, Chris Hani was assassinated. Hani’s murderer, Janusz Walus was denied parole on Wednesday by Justice Minister Michael Masutha.

On Wednesday, Chris Hani’s killer, Janusz Walus was denied parole for the second time. Justice Minister Michael Masutha said, “Placement of offender on parole is not granted. It is directed that a further profile be directed within six months of this decision for my consideration.” Hani was the South African Communist party leader and chief of staff of the uMkhonto we Sizwe.

The South African Communist Party (SACP) however stated that Janusz showed no remorse about killing Hani. SACP second deputy general secretary Solly Mapaila told News24 “We know this man said he will kill again. He isn’t remorseful and he doesn’t realise the damage that he caused to the country, not only to the Hani family.”

Justice Masutha further said regarding Janusz, “Regarding empathy, it can be said that he expresses remorse for the fact that the victim’s children are fatherless and the wife is a widow. However, he showed no remorse for murdering Chris Hani, the communist leader.”

Janusz has been behind bars for 25 years. As far as the SACP is concerned, “Walus does not deserve parole. He remains a danger in our society. What he deserves is to rot in jail for so long as he tries to justify the murder of Chris Hani, and for so long as all the circumstances surrounding the murder have not been fully disclosed or uncovered.”

Background to Hani’s assassination

On the 10th of April, in 1993 when South Africa was on the brink of ending Apartheid rule, Hani was shot dead in front of his home in Dawn Park at Boksburg. Walus shot Hani in the head and back. Walus was a Polish far-right and anti-communist immigrant and claimed that the killing was on the orders of the Conservative Party. At the time, Hani was the South African Communist party leader and chief of staff of the uMkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the ANC.

Janusz was sentenced to death, which later, following a Constitutional Court ruling was commuted to life imprisonment. The assassination of Hani led Nelson Mandela, who wasn’t yet State President to address the nation. Mandela said, “Tonight I am reaching out to every single South African, black and white, from the very depths of my being. A white man, full of prejudice and hate, came to our country and committed a deed so foul that our whole nation now teeters on the brink of disaster. . . The cold-blooded murder of Chris Hani has sent shock waves throughout the country and the world. … Now is the time for all South Africans to stand together against those who, from any quarter, wish to destroy what Chris Hani gave his life for – the freedom of all of us.”

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