The killer of anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani has been stabbed to death in a South African prison, two days before the deadline for his controversial release on parole, the prison service said Tuesday (November 29).
“The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) confirms the unfortunate incident in which inmate Janusz Walus was stabbed,” the prison administration said in a statement.
“The inmate is (in a) stable condition,” it said, adding that the injured man is currently receiving “necessary care.”
According to initial findings, Walus, 69, was stabbed by another inmate, according to corrections, which announced an investigation.
Last week, the courts granted early release to the Polish immigrant linked to the white Afrikaner far right who killed Chris Hani in 1993. He was to be released no later than December 1, according to the decision of the Constitutional Court, the country’s highest court.
Chris Hani’s widow denounced the “diabolical judgment”. And a demonstration against his release brought together several dozen people on Saturday, at the call of the historic ruling party ANC.
On Saturday night, Chris Hani’s grave, located in the municipality of Ekurhuleni in the east of Johannesburg, was vandalized.
A communist leader and senior official of the armed wing of the liberation party, Chris Hani, 50, was shot at close range in the driveway of his garage on April 10, 1993, by Janusz Walus.
At the time, delicate negotiations with the white government for the country’s first democratic elections were underway.
The assassination exacerbated racial tensions and provoked violent riots in the townships of South Africa shaken by the last tremors of the racist regime. In a vibrant televised speech, Nelson Mandela called for calm.
Janusz Walus had been sentenced to death, but the new regime had abolished capital punishment in 1994 and his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.
He had been eligible for parole for some 20 years. His previous applications had all been rejected.
Chris Hani’s death is commemorated every year in South Africa as one of the heroes of the anti-apartheid struggle.