‘Chief Justice Zondo failed to consider my family in handing down judgment on Janusz Walus’

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The widow of the late SACP Secretary-General, Chris Hani, has lashed out at the Constitutional Court for ordering the release of her husband’s killer, Janusz Walus.

Limpho Hani has criticised Chief Justice Raymond Zondo for failing to consider her family in handing down the unanimous judgment.

Zondo declared Justice Minister Ronald Lamola’s decision to deny Walus parole in 2020 unconstitutional. The Apex Court ordered that the Polish immigrant be released on parole within 10 days.

Walus, who is serving a life sentence, shot and killed Hani in 1993.

The murder brought South Africa to the brink of a civil war. An irate Limpho Hani reacted to the decision after she stormed out of the courtroom.

“This country is finished. In this country, a foreign white can come into South Africa, kill my husband. I don’t know if you heard, but Zondo never referred to my family, to myself, to my children, and the trauma and the suffering. He couldn’t be bothered, all of them and Walus has lost all the cases. These ones because in South Africa, they are gods (sic), and what they say goes . I wish them the best. Do you know about karma? Watch the space, all of them. Watch karma, I give them two years.”

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Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry says it will study the judgment. Department spokesperson Chrispin Phiri says the judgment will be considered for other inmates seeking parole.

“In the minister’s decision, he really did take into consideration the nature and the seriousness of the crime, and that’s important because it did have a particular context, and when taking a decision of this nature, you want to ensure that the ramifications of that decision in society as well do not cause some level of uncertainty, and I think that is why the minister took the nature of the crime into consideration. When you release a murderer back into society, you have to consider whether the community would really be able to reaccept that person, and in this instance, that’s definitely a factor that the minister took into consideration. We’ll have to really look at the judgment so that we understand what the implications are for other parolees as well who may be in a similar situation, lifers in particular.”

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