Thursday, March 10, 2016

South Africa to Free Killer of Communist Anti-Apartheid Leader
10 March 2016

The murderer, Janusz Walus, has spent more than 20 years in prison.
The convicted killer of South African anti-apartheid leader Chris Hani will be freed on parole in two weeks after more than 20 years in prison, a Pretoria court ruled Thursday.

Janusz Walus was serving a life sentence for the 1993 murder of Hani, a charismatic activist and politician who was both a senior member of the African National Congress (ANC) and the head of the South African Communist Party (SACP) when he was gunned down.

Hani's murder threatened to derail South Africa's transition to a multi-racial democracy, leading to nationwide riots and triggering fears of a civil war.

Walus was sentenced alongside Clive Derby-Lewis, a right-wing politician who provided the murder weapon.

Both men were originally sentenced to death, but that sentence was commuted to life in prison after South Africa abolished the death penalty in 1995. Derby-Lewis was freed on medical parole last year.

Justice Minister Michael Masutha had earlier blocked a parole board decision to release Walus, leading to his legal challenge in the Pretoria court.

Apartheid death-squad leader Eugene de Kock, dubbed "Prime Evil" for his role in the torture and murder of scores of black activists in the 1980s and early 1990s, was freed on parole last year after serving more than 20 years in prison.

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