State, SACP hopeful for fair ruling on Walus’s fate

The State has applied for leave to appeal a court decision to release Hani’s killer on parole.

FILE: SACP supporters hold up placards during a march through Pretoria's CBD in support of Justice Minister Michael Masutha's decision to appeal the parole granted to Chris Hani's killer, Janusz Waluś. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) says it hopes the judge presiding over the State's application for leave to appeal will make a fair ruling this Thursday, and allow a higher court to decide whether Janusz Walus should be released.

Walus has spent nearly 23 years behind bars for killing SACP leader Chris Hani on 10 April in 1993.

The State argued today that Hani's killer was a "mature being" who knew the consequences of his actions and murdered with the intention of creating chaos in the country.

The party's Solly Mapaila says, in the South African democracy, the courts should place greater importance on the loss of life to deter people from committing murder.

"The courts should, at the centre of it, applaud and embrace the appreciation of life and its protection. Those who murder people must know that they will spend a long time in prison."

Mapaila has described Walus as an unrepentant killer who has shown no remorse for taking another person's life.

WATCH: Many unanswered questions 23 years after Hani's murder

The SACP says the only thing standing in between Hani's murderer and his freedom is the truth about who ordered the hit and what really happened on that day in April 1993.

Meanwhile, the National Prosecuting Authority's Mthunzi Mhaga says they welcome the judge's decision not to hear an application for Walus to be placed on parole with conditions, while the decision over granting leave to appeal is still outstanding.

Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen will rule on Thursday whether the State's application for leave to appeal is successful.

Earlier this year, Justice Minister Michael Masutha overturned the parole board's decision to have Hani's killer released on the basis of his lack of remorse.

But the High Court later ruled in Walus's favour.

Mhaga says a full bench of judges must decide on the matter.

"We firmly believe that we have convinced the judge to allow us to go to a higher court, so that we can have all these matter ventilated. We feel that there are a number of issues or points where [Judge Janse Van Nieuwenhuizen] has misdirected herself."

Mapaila says the party hopes the judge will make a decision based solely on legal arguments presented in court today.

"We must indicate that we are perturbed by the sense of hostility towards the respondents. I think it's an issue where she can refrain a bit; be cordial and engage according to the law. I think what's at the core here is that he is an unrepentant murderer."

WATCH: Hani killer must rot in jail