Killer of South African anti-apartheid leader Hani denied parole

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 17, 2017 7:22 AM

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's Justice Minister Michael Masutha on Friday denied parole to the killer of anti-apartheid leader Chris Hani, saying he had not expressed remorse for the murder.

Janusz Walus has served more than 20 years of a life sentence for the assassination of Hani, who was a senior member of the now-ruling African National Congress (ANC) and head of the South African Communist Party.

Walus, 64, emigrated from communist Poland in 1981 and became involved in far-right politics in South Africa.

He shot Hani outside the anti-apartheid activist's home in 1993. The killing triggered nationwide riots that threatened to derail South Africa's 1994 transition to multi-racial democracy after decades of white apartheid rule.

Masutha also blocked Walus' parole application in 2015, a decision that triggered several court challenges. The Supreme Court of Appeal referred the matter back to the justice minister for reconsideration.

Masutha said on Friday a psychologist's report had highlighted Walus' political ideology as a risk factor.

The report said Walus "expressed remorse for the fact that the victim's children are fatherless and the wife is a widow".

"However, he showed no remorse for murdering Chris Hani. He still rationalizes his actions and insists that they were politically motivated. His ideas about communism still stand."

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by James Macharia and Andrew Roche)