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‘Zondo has failed this country’: Limpho Hani slams ConCourt’s order to grant parole to Janusz Walus

Limpho Hani, the wife of South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani who was gunned down nearly 30 years ago, blasted Chief Justice Raymond Zondo following his ruling in the Constitutional Court to release her husband’s killer on parole.

In his ruling on Monday afternoon, Zondo ordered the release of Janusz Walus on parole within 10 days. Zondo said the decision by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald.  Lamola to deny Walus’ parole was irrational and should, therefore, be reviewed and set aside.

Zondo said the onus was now on Lamola to set conditions when releasing him on parole.

He added that more than 15 years had elapsed since Walus became eligible for parole.

READ | Full judgment: Why the court ruled for Janusz Walus’ release on parole

He said Walus had apologised to the family on several occasions.

Lamola was ordered to pay Walus’ costs.

The ruling has left the Hani family fuming, with an angry Limpho storming out of court after the verdict.

“This court has not even addressed the victims. I don’t exist. He is busy giving us a lecture about a Polish man who came to SA to kill my husband. Do you understand how I feel?” Limpho asked.

“Chief Justice [Raymond] Zondo has failed this country completely, and I am not going to apologise. This country is finished. In this country, a foreign white can come into South Africa and kill my husband. He [Zondo] couldn’t give a shit. He couldn’t be bothered,” she said.

Limpho described the judgment as “diabolical”.

“I have never seen something like this in my life. If my husband was not killed, we would have never had elections. Mandela, after my husband was murdered, said to [FW] de Klerk for us to stop this, give us an election date. That is why Zondo and his friends today are sitting in this court.”

The Polish immigrant is serving a life sentence at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Facility for the murder of the anti-apartheid activist in 1993.

Walus, who became eligible for parole almost 17 years ago, after serving 13 years and four months of his life sentence, had been applying for parole since 2011 – and had been denied parole every time.

He was initially sentenced to death for the Hani’s murder, but his death sentence was commuted to life behind bars.

Zondo said in his judgment that Walus had kept a clean record while serving more than 25 years of his life sentence, and had also complied with every requirement the prison authorities had told him he should abide by.

“In the circumstances, I am of the view that it is just and equitable that this court should order the minister to place the applicant on parole.”

In making his decision, Zondo said the court was mindful of the fact that, in assassinating Hani, Walus sought to derail the attainment of democracy and nearly plunged the country into a civil war.

“However, I have also borne in mind that, when the fathers and mothers of our constitutional democracy drafted our Constitution and included in it the Bill of Rights, they did not draft a Bill of Rights that would confer fundamental rights only on those who fought for democracy and not on those who had supported apartheid or who were opposed to the introduction of democracy in this country.

“They drafted a Bill of Rights that conferred fundamental rights on everyone, including those who had supported apartheid with all their hearts.”

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