Justice Minister denies Janusz Walus parole again

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

A lack of remorse has earned Janusz Walus a continued stay at Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre after Justice Minister Michael Masutha maintained his stance and declined him parole.

“I have decided that the placement of the offender on parole is not advisable at this stage and his application is therefore not approved,” said the Minister on Wednesday.

Walus was sentenced to death on 15 October 1993 on the charge of murdering Chris Hani.

He appealed his death sentence, which was later commuted to a life sentence on 7 November 2000.

On 10 April 2015, coincidentally the day Walus assassinated Hani, he brought an application to be placed on parole after serving 21 years and six months in prison. In 2017, Masutha denied Walus parole.

In September 2018, Walus challenged Masutha’s decision in the North Gauteng High Court.

The High Court set aside Masutha’s decision on procedural grounds and remitted the matter back to the Minister for reconsideration within 120 calendar days.

Announcing his decision, Masutha quoted heavily from reports by psychologists Joel Mbhele and Zelda Buitendag.

The reports highlighted Walus’s political ideology as a risk factor and detail that Walus showed no remorse for killing Hani, the communist leader, but merely for the fact that his death left his children fatherless and his wife a widow.

“If one has regard for the fact that remorse is a strong feeling of sadness and regret about something wrong that one has done, the report demonstrates a person who sees nothing wrong with eliminating a communist, who happens to be a father and husband.

“This can in no way qualify as full remorse as he continues to justify his killing of Hani,” said Masutha.  

Mbhele further found that Walus still rationalises his actions and insists that they were politically motivated.

“His ideas about communism still stand,” said Mbhele in his report.

This, Masutha said, demonstrates the continued existence of the primary motive that led to the commission of the offence in the first place.

Masutha directed that a further profile be submitted within six months of his decision.

In light of the conflicting psychological reports from Buitendag and Mbhele, Masutha directed that the two professionals jointly asses the inmate and file a joint report on the issues concerning risk of reoffending and remorse.

“The offender should undergo individual psychotherapy with the psychologist to assist in addressing challenges, which have been highlighted in Dr Zelda Buitendag’s report dated 15 October 2018. These challenges include depression, suicidal thoughts and explosive anger episodes,” said the Minister. – SAnews.gov.za