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Janusz Walus placed on parole

The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, has placed offender Janusz Walus on parole under strict conditions with effect from Wednesday.

This follows the judgment of the Constitutional Court handed down on Monday, 21 November 2022.

Walus was only discharged from hospital today, as he had been receiving treatment after he was involved in a stabbing incident.

He will serve two years under community corrections in line with the parole regime upon which he is released.

“There is no question that offender Walus is a polarising figure in our budding constitutional democracy, and that his release has understandably re-opened wounds among some in society, especially the family of the late struggle icon, Chris Hani.

“Offender Walus’s actions sought to derail the democratic project at its most critical, formative stage, when the choice of either setting the country on a sustainable path of peace, democracy and reconciliation on the one hand, or chaos, civil strife and blood-letting on the other, was constantly one bad decision away.

“His killing of Hani was unqualifiedly among those actions that sought to condemn the country to the latter fate, had it not been for the inspired leadership of our nation’s founders and the resolve of the people of South Africa.

“In previously denying him parole, the decision was not in the spirit of avenging a stalwart of our liberation struggle, but it has always been within the context of giving effect to the interests of justice, from the perspective of what the sentencing court sought to achieve,” the Department of Correctional Services said in a statement.

In its unanimous judgment, the Constitutional Court set aside the judgment and order of the Gauteng Division of the High Court, Pretoria, and placed offender Walus on parole.

“Our courts on previous occasions reminded us that our Constitution is located in a history which involves a transition from a society based on division, injustice and exclusion from the democratic process to one which respects the dignity of all citizens, and includes all in the process of governance.

“As such, the process of interpreting the Constitution must recognise the context in which we find ourselves and the Constitution’s goal of a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights. This spirit of transition and transformation characterises the constitutional enterprise as a whole.

“Our parole system is not a wanton licence for unaccountability and impunity, neither does it nullify the original verdict and sentence imposed by the courts. Parole is an acknowledged part of our correctional system. It has proved to be a vital part of reformative treatment for the paroled person who is treated by moral suasion,” the department said.

Walus has been furnished with his parole conditions in terms of the Correctional Services Act. If he violates the conditions, he will be returned to a correctional centre, the department said. –

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