Pretoria – Justice Minister Michael Masutha took all the positive aspects into consideration when he declined parole for Janusz Walus, but he had his reservations as to whether Walus truly had remorse for the 1993 killing of SACP leader Chris Hani.
This was the argument of Advocate Marumo Moerane SC, on behalf of the minister, during Walus’s bid on Tuesday to be placed on parole.
Moerane argued in the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, that the minister’s decision to refuse parole, was reasonable.
The minister took into account that Walus had participated in various programmes while in jail, including an anger management course and that he was a model prisoner.
But the minister questioned whether Walus had true remorse. “One must face certain realities, such as why would only after all these years in jail for the first time express remorse. He know he if he does not, chances of being granted parole is slim,” Moerane said.
He also questioned why Walus always maintained that he was a mere foot-soldier during the assassination of Hani, yet the facts show that he was much more involved.
Judge Selby Baqwa remarked that Walus has stated that he had repeatedly expressed his remorse, both to the Hani family and to society.
He questioned where one drew the line.
“Is it self serving or does he mean it…Is it a record which will play forever,” he asked.
It was argued on behalf of the SACP that it was not enough for Walus to now say “I will no longer kill and I accept democracy.”
It was argued that it is not enough to say he had remorse if it was not supported by facts.
The judge once again pointed out that Walus did apologise in letters to the family, but the SACP responded that this was self serving.
Counsel for Walus meanwhile questioned how many times more must he express his remorse for the killing. He also asked whether Walus must first become pro-communist before he is granted parole.
Walus, who has spend 25 years of his life sentence for the April 1993 killing in the Kgosi Mampuru Prison, said he time and again expressed his remorse to the Hani family as well as to the society.
Walus said if he is released, he wanted to go back to Poland to be reunited with his family.
Judgment was reserved.