Today In History: Hani Killers Denied Amnesty

Wednesday, 7 April 1999


The Truth & Reconciliation (TRC) Amnesty Committee denied right-wingers Clive Derby-Lewis and Janusz Walus amnesty for the assassination of Chris Hani, the South African Community Party (SACP) leader at the time.

Derby-Lewis and Walus were sentenced to death for Hani’s
assassination in front of his Boksburg home on April 10, 1993. “I tucked my Z-88 pistol into the back of my trouser belt and got out of my car,” Walus recalled some years later. “I didn’t want to shoot him in the back. I called, ‘Mr Hani’. When he turned, I drew my pistol from the belt and shot him in the stomach. As he fell, I shot a second bullet into his head. When he fell on the ground, I shot him again twice behind the ear.”

Their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment after the
abolishment of the death sentence in 1995.

The TRC’s amnesty committee on April 7 1999 rejected their
application for amnesty for the murder on the basis that they
failed to prove the killing was politically motivated.
The committee also found that the men had failed to make a full
disclosure, another prerequisite for amnesty.
Walus, a polish immigrant, and Derby-Lewis, a former Conservative
Party parliamentarian, tried to politically motivate the killing by
claiming that they had taken their cue from the CP.
The committee said it was common cause that the applicants were not acting on their express authority or orders from the party.


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