The appeal against the parole of Chris Hani assassin Janusz Walus only likely to be heard in 2017

South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani was assassinated in 1993. (Gallo)

South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani was assassinated in 1993. (Gallo)

The registrar of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on Tuesday said it was unlikely the justice ministry’s appeal against the granting of parole to Janusz Walus would be heard until next year.

Paul Myburgh told the African News Agency that the court process would now involve the exchanging of documents and this “could take months”.

Walus was convicted of assassinating South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani in 1993, and has spent the past 23 years behind bars.

In March, the High Court in Pretoria ordered that Walus, a Polish immigrant, be released from prison within 14 days and denied Justice Minister Michael Masutha leave to appeal the ruling.

The minister then petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal, and high court Judge Nicolene Janse van Nieuwenhuizen refused Walus’s request to be released from custody pending the outcome of the minister’s approach to the Bloemfontein court.

The order granting leave to appeal was dated July 4.

Myburgh said the justice ministry had a month to file its appeal notice, and then a further three months to file the transcribed record. It then had six weeks to file heads of argument. After that, the respondents would be given one month to file their heads.

He said Walus’s lawyers could ask President Jacob Zuma for an expedited date for the appeal to be heard.

If that did not happen, Walus would have to remain behind bars until the appeal was heard, which is most likely only early next year. – African News Agency (ANA)

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