Justice minister to approach SCA over Walus appeal

2016-04-14 12:32
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha. (Linda Mthombeni, Foto24)

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha. (Linda Mthombeni, Foto24)

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Pretoria - Justice Minister Michael Masutha will ask to approach the Supreme Court of Appeal directly to appeal the parole of Janusz Walus, the Polish immigrant who assassinated SACP leader Chris Hani.

Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen on Thursday dismissed Masutha's application for leave to appeal her previous order that he be released on parole.

Masutha’s spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said they would prepare to oppose Walus’s application to be released, which is to be heard next Wednesday.

"We are now going through the judgment so that we can finalise our... submission to the Supreme Court of Appeal. We have to do it within 30 days, but we will do it today or tomorrow."

SA Communist Party spokesperson Alex Mashilo said they would join the minister's petition to the SCA.

Criticism of judge

The SACP and Hani's widow Limpho had strong words about Van Nieuwenhuizen.

"She refused us to appeal, but her powers end here. We will meet in Bloemfontein,” Hani said.

She said Van Nieuwenhuizen should have followed Judge Thokozile Masipa’s example. Masipa found Oscar Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide for killing Reeva Steenkamp. She however granted the National Prosecuting Authority leave to appeal her finding. The SCA set aside his culpable homicide conviction and replaced it with murder.

"When the NPA asks for appeal, just to show you how decent judge Masipa is, she did not deny the NPA leave to appeal. She said 'go for it'," Hani said.

"That is what I call somebody who gave a judgment with no agendas. She was confident her judgment was fair. But this one, she denies the minister leave to appeal. It means she is not confident about her decision."

Former right wing politician Clive Derby-Lewis, who supplied the gun Walus used to kill Hani, was released on medical parole in June last year after obtaining a High Court order for his release.

Read more on:    limpho hani  |  chris hani  |  michael masutha  |  janusz walus

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