South Africa’s justice minister Monday denied parole to a white supremacist who killed Chris Hani, a prominent anti-apartheid activist in 1993.
Janusz Walus gunned down Hani outside his home in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, in April 1993, nearly throwing South Africa into a civil war barely a year into its transition from apartheid to democratic rule.
Two years ago, Walus’ legal representatives challenged a decision by then-Justice Minister Michael Masutha to deny him parole despite his over two decades in prison.
On Monday, current Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said in a statement he would not approve Walus’ application for parole despite his long time served because the crime was “a deliberate cold murder preceded by weeks of planning.’’
He added: “The crime was intended and had the potential to bring a civil war within the republic at the time.”
He also said “placing Walus on parole would negate the severity of what the court sought when sentencing him.”
In 1993 Walus was sentenced to death for Hani's murder but the sentence was later commuted to life in prison.
Hani was leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP), a close partner of the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
The SACP praised the decision against parole. “The assassination would have managed to plunge South Africa into war, had it not been for the sterling and resilient intervention by the leadership of our movement in the midst of what nearly became an insurmountable situation,” it said.
Walus migrated from Poland to South Africa in 1981 and was a supporter of South Africa’s far-right and racist apartheid system.
Source: Anadolu Agency