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Walus to appeal parole refusal decision

Publish date: 23 March 2020
Issue Number: 865
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: South Africa

The lawyer of Janusz Walus – convicted for killing former SACP leader Chris Hani – is heading back to court to secure his parole. According to a Cape Argus report, Julian Knight revealed this while reacting to the decision by Justice & Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola to deny Walus parole for the fourth time. Knight said they were working on the court papers and they had not decided which court – the Constitutional Court or the High Court – to approach but they would have an idea in the coming days. He criticised Lamola’s decision, saying the Minister relied on the ‘poorest of reasons’, which were sentencing remarks that were made by the presiding judge 27 years ago. He argued that by doing so, Lamola ignored the four court rulings that have been made in their favour regarding the parole request. ‘He relies upon the sentence remarks made 27 years ago as outweighing all the other factors. Every single time there has been the need for a decision, the various Ministers have reached for the nearest fruit hanging from the tree,’ Knight said. He said in his understanding of the law, the longer the sentence was served by an offender, the less relevant the sentencing remarks become.

Full Cape Argus report (subscription needed)