Members of South Africa’s governing African National Congress (ANC) and its allied Communist Party have staged a protest outside the Constitutional Court in Johannesburg to express their anger at a decision to free the man who murdered the anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani.
Janusz Walus, a Polish immigrant, killed Hani in 1993 in an effort to derail the transition from white-minority rule to democracy.
On Monday Chief Justice Ray Zondo ordered the country’s correctional services minister to place Walus on parole.
Senior ANC member Panyaza Lesufi said more demonstrations were planned to coincide with his expected release next week.
Walus killed Hani as he picked up the newspapers outside his home in April 1993 by shooting him at point-blank range in the chin, behind the ear and in the chest.
He was arrested and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to life after South Africa abolished the death penalty at the end of apartheid, a legalised system of racial discrimination, in 1994.
Hani’s murder still evokes deep emotions in South Africa. He was regarded as the most popular politician after South Africa’s first black President Nelson Mandela, and his death caused much shock and anger.