The Constitutional Court on Monday ruled that Chris Hani’s killer Janusz Waluś be released on parole within 10 days.

The ConCourt found that the decision by Minister of Justice Ronald Lamola not to grant Waluś parole in 2020 was irrational.

Delivering his ruling, chief justice Raymond Zondo said the minister’s decision was irrational and must be set aside.


The 69-year-old has been serving a life sentence at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Facility. He is a Polish immigrant who killed then SACP leader and anti-apartheid activist Hani in April 1993

He asked the apex to set aside the Supreme Court of Appeal’s decision to dismiss his leave to appeal against a high court judgment that upheld the refusal of his parole by Lamola.

Judge Zondo said the court needed to take into account that he was involved in a serious crime that was meticulously planned. Adding that his conduct and that of right-wing politician Clive Derby-Lewis almost plunged the country into civil unrest.

Chris Hani's killer Janusz Waluś to be released on parole
Chris Hani was killed by Janusz Waluś in 1993

He said it seemed that Waluś and Derby-Lewis had been intentional in delaying democracy when they killed Hani. Highlighting that they had served the minimum required time behind bars before they could be considered for parole.


Waluś has been eligible to apply for almost two decades. He was convicted in October 1993.

 Waluś’ lawyer, Advocate Roelof du Plessis, also argued that he was reformed and had shown remorse for killing Hani. Du Plessis also argued that Waluś had realised that apartheid was wrong. He had apologised to the Hani family on several occasions.

Together with Derby-Lewis, the pair were sentenced to death but their sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment when SA abolished the death penalty. Derby-Lewis was granted medical parole in 2015 and died the following year of cancer.

Limpho hani, who is Chris Hani’s widow, has consistently opposed Waluś’ attempts to be released from jail, citing the seriousness of the crime.

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