Janusz Walus was stabbed by a fellow inmate on Tuesday, three days before the expiry of the constitutional court deadline for his release on parole, the department of correctional services said.
“The department of correctional services is able to confirm an unfortunate stabbing incident involving inmate Janusz Walus,” the department said in a statement.
“A detailed incident statement is to be provided at a later stage but what can be stated at this point is that inmate Walus is stable and [the department’s] healthcare officials are providing the necessary care.”
The statement said he was stabbed by another inmate from the same prison facility.
Walus has been serving a life sentence, for the premeditated murder of South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Chris Hani in 1993, in the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre in Tshwane.
He was taken to the hospital section of the prison.
The department of correctional services disparaged reports that he was stabbed by a former member of the armed struggle against apartheid.
It told the Mail & Guardian that the perpetrator had been “isolated” but that further information was yet to be gleaned and communicated.
The department confirmed that both Walus and the person who stabbed him were kept in single cells, and that the attack happened while they were performing communal functions.
It stressed that Walus was in a stable condition but said X-rays would be performed to establish the extent of the injury suffered.
Last Monday, the constitutional court held that the refusal by Justice Minister Ronald Lamola in 2020 to grant the Polish immigrant who plotted with Conservative Party member Clive Derby-Lewis to kill Hani was unconstitutional.
Walus’ appeal of that decision to the apex court was opposed by the SACP.
The department of home affairs confirmed on Monday that it would grant Walus an exemption to the Immigration Act, which would make it possible that he serve out his parole in South Africa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has termed the unanimous court ruling “very disappointing”.