South Africa: Justice Minister Given 60 Days to Reconsider Janusz Walus' Parole

12 December 2019

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has noted a ruling by the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to reconsider his predecessor Michael Masutha's decision to refuse Chris Hani's killer, Janusz Walus, parole.

"The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services has noted the decision handed down by the Gauteng High Court of South Africa in the Janusz Walus matter (parole placement)," spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said in a statement on Thursday.

"The minister will acquaint himself with judgment in order to determine how he will proceed further in the matter," Phiri added.

This comes after Judge Jody Kollapen reviewed and set aside the decision on Thursday and further instructed Lamola to reconsider the matter within 60 days.

IOL reports that, although Walus was asking the court to order his release, Kollapen had noted that it was not the court's function to act as administrators.

"The administrator is generally the best equipped by experience, as well as access to resources and information, to make such decisions.

"It also accords with the principle that underpins the separation of powers doctrine," the judge said. He said the remittal of the matter to the minister for a decision would be the most appropriate relief to grant.

Walus' parole was previously denied in January 2019 by Masutha, who was justice minister at the time.

Masutha made his decision based on contradicting information in psychological reports, that made it difficult to determine whether Walus should be placed on parole.

This was followed by the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria giving Masutha 120 days to reconsider releasing Walus on parole, News24 reported.

Walus assassinated Hani, the former South African Communist Party (SACP) leader, outside his home in 1993.

Hani's widow, Limpo Hani, and SACP national chairperson Senzeni Zokwana were present during Thursday's court proceedings.

Zokwana told IOL that they were happy with the decision, as it afforded them the right to make representations within 60 days.

"I think the issue is simple, to say that this case is serious, in the same manner that the murderer of prime minister Verwoed was treated, why should this be different?" he told media following the ruling.

Source: News24

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