14 January 1953 |
|Known for||Assassination of Chris Hani|
||It has been suggested that this article be merged into Chris Hani. (Discuss) Proposed since May 2013.|
Janusz Waluś (born 14 January 1953) is the assassin of Chris Hani, who was chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). Born in Zakopane in 1953, Waluś immigrated from communist Poland in 1981 to South Africa to join his father and brother that had arrived in the 1970s and already established a small glass factory there. Especially after the family business went bankrupt some years later, Waluś, now a truck driver, also joined both the National Party and the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging becoming more and more involved in the far right politics supporting South Africa's apartheid regime. Waluś defended his political objectives with the statement:
|“||They (the ANC) are communist and they will destroy this wonderful country. They will squander all that was built here by Whites with such difficulty. It pains me that everything here will be destroyed in the name of a multiracial utopia that will never work here. They want freedom and democracy. In a few years freedom and democracy will be all they will have.||”|
The assassination of Chris Hani took place on Easter Saturday, 10 April 1993, a time when negotiations to end apartheid were taking place. Waluś drove to Chris Hani's house in Boksburg, Johannesburg, around 10:20am. Hani had just returned home and as he got out of his car, Waluś called out his name, at which Hani turned around and was shot once in the body and then three times in the head. Hani died on the scene which Waluś then fled. A neighbour took down the number plate of the car fleeing the scene of Hani's death, resulting in Waluś being caught. Although he denied any participation in the assassination, Waluś made the mistake of assuming one of the policeman was a right-winger and exposed his own story. After thorough investigation, the murder was traced to Clive Derby-Lewis, who instigated the assassination and organised the weapon for Waluś. Among these findings the police found a hit-list which suggested that Hani was only third on Waluś and Derby-Lewis's list, following other famous figures such as Nelson Mandela and Joe Slovo.
Janusz Waluś and Clive Derby-Lewis received the death penalty for their actions, but after the abolition of the death penalty in South Africa, their sentence was commuted to life imprisonment  With the introduction of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission after apartheid, Waluś applied for amnesty, which would give him parole. After extensive investigation the commission found that he and Derby-Lewis were not acting on higher orders and refused amnesty; both remained in prison.
He should not be confused with the Janusz Waluś, also born in 1953, that represented Poland in the 1976 Winter Olympics in ski jumping. However he did have some sporting success of his own in car racing even winning the national rally championship in the Fiat 127 class.
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