Elsje du Toit, Netwerk24, May 30, 2017

Janusz Walus has been stripped of his South African citizenship, his lawyer says.

Bloemfontein – Janusz Walus has been stripped of his South African citizenship, his lawyer says.

Advocate Roelof du Plessis, SC, revealed this in the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, where a full bench of judges will decide if Walus should be freed on parole, Netwerk24 reported.

“The representatives of the Department of Home Affairs confirmed it,” Du Plessis testified before Judges Christiaan van der Merwe, Jeremiah Shongwe, Mandisa Maya, Boissie Mbha and Ashton Schippers.

“But he can only be deported once he has been freed on parole.”

Walus and the late Clive Derby-Lewis killed the then leader of the SA Communist Party, Chris Hani, at his Boksburg home on April 10, 1993.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Michael Masutha is appealing against the release on parole of Walus, who has spent 23 years behind bars.

Du Plessis asked the judges to consider the fact that Walus’ South African citizenship had been revoked, when making a ruling.

Members of the ANC Women League and the SACP who were in court were unhappy when Du Plessis said that.

Hani’s wife, Limpho, who was also there, didn’t want to speak to journalists.

Reason to be careful?

Shongwe asked if the fact that Walus’ citizenship had been revoked, wasn’t all the more reason to be very careful.

Du Plessis insisted that it was necessary to free Walus on parole so that he could leave the country.

That’s after Mbha asked if there wouldn’t be “chaos in the country” if Walus were to be granted parole.

Alex Mashilo, a spokesperson for the SACP, said after the hearing that they were positive about the arguments presented in court.

“We are glad that the Supreme Court of Appeal is taking into account that there are several facets to the case, including restorative justice,” he said.

“Hani’s assassination almost brought South Africa to the brink of a civil war. A killer who, according to his psychological reports still harbours hatred, remains dangerous in a democratic society.”

Advocate Marumo Moerane, SC, for the State, argued that the Pretoria High Court’s ruling on Walus’ parole be set aside.

“The High Court erred in that it hadn’t properly taken into account the need to distinguish between appeal and review,” he said in his heads of argument.

Moerane said parole wasn’t a right.

“The crime was horrific. For that reason we considered the seriousness of the crime.”

Judgement was reserved.