Janusz Walus parole appeal decision due today

The Justice Ministry is appealing the decision to grant parole to Chris Hani's murderer.

FILE: Janusz Walus at a hearing in the Pretoria City Hall on 11 August 1997. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Justice Ministry will this morning hear whether its application to appeal the release of Chris Hani's killer will be granted.

Polish assassin Janusz Walus has spent nearly 23 years in prison for murdering the South African Communist Party (SACP) leader outside his Boksburg home.

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

Judge Nicoline Janse van Nieuwenhuizen asked lawyers representing the state what the appropriate jail sentence would be for the type of crime Walus committed.

The SACP's Solly Mapaila says there is no appropriate prison term as the Polish assassin is an unrepentant killer who still refuses to give Hani's family closure.

"Other judgments have shown that at best, he should spend some substantial years in jail."

On Tuesday, the state argued that granting parole to Hani's killer would cause great pain for the family, as Walus has still not disclosed the truth about what happened that day and brought closure.

On the other hand, the defence intensely argued that granting Walus parole was in line with the criteria and greater importance should not be placed on certain people's lives.

If the state does not win its application to appeal the release of Walus, the National Prosecuting Authority may refer the matter to the appeals court.

HIGH HOPES

The SACP says it's confident the state has presented a solid case.

This weekend marked the 23rd anniversary of Hani's assassination which threatened to plunge South Africa into civil war.

Mapaila was clear about what the organisation would like to see during today's ruling.

"We are hoping for the judge to keep him in jail and to accept the minister's appeal because we think we're on good legal grounds as we argued brilliantly."