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S.A liberation hero Chris Hani venerated


With bouquets of colourful flowers, political slogans and songs, South Africa today celebrated the life and times of liberation hero Chris Hani who was killed on this day 28 years ago. 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa led senior leaders of the ANC, the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions in commemorating the life of Hani.

At a special ceremony at the Heroes Acre at a cemetery in Dawn Park, Ramaphosa said Hani was a unifier and nation builder. “He was a champion of non-racialism, non-sexism and deeply committed to breaking down the barriers that have long kept people apart,” he said.

The ANC president also said Hani embodied the revolutionary qualities that the ANC and SA needed in its leaders today. He said Hani was not afraid to raise concerns about the state of the ANC and the conduct of its leaders. 

Ramaphosa pleaded for unity within the ANC as well as within the tripartite alliance. 

“Chris Hani would have been the first one to say that the ANC can’t fulfil its historic mission if it is divided. It has the responsibility not only to be united in itself but also to unite society behind a programme of fundamental social and economic change. We can only advance the interest of SA as whole when the ANC is united, when the alliance is united and working together,” he said.

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The message from the SACP was also centred on the need to forge unity and the imperative of rebuilding the ANC, the alliance movement and the imperative to clamp down on corruption.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande expressed continued support to the Hani in its pursuit for justice and closure. 

Nzimande said: “To this day there has been no full disclosure of the truth. Facts show that the convicted assassins, Clive Derby-Lewis who died a natural death in November 2016 and Janusz Waluś, were not the only ones involved in the assassination chain from its conception. For instance, the gun they used was taken from military armoury. For 28 years now it has not been disclosed who took the murder weapon from the military armoury which was under strict apartheid security, intelligence, and defence protection. It has also not been divulged who else was involved in relaying the murder weapon from point to point until it reached and was used by the convicted assassins to steal Hani’s life.

‘The SACP remains strongly opposed to parole for Janusz Waluś and welcomes the recent high court judgment, dismissing his parole application. We further reiterate our stance for a fresh inquest into Hani’s assassination to unearth the entire truth.  We wish to reiterate our resolution, as the SACP, for a wider investigation into apartheid killings and disappearances of our struggle heroes. Some of those who disappeared as a result of the actions of the apartheid security networks have never been found. The investigation should unearth all the circumstances and assist all the affected families to know where their loved ones ended, to realise justice, and to find closure.

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“We want to reiterate here today our stern warning to the individuals who, in pursuit of their factional agendas, use the name of Chris Hani to suggest that they have more information about his assassination, while they never approached constitutionally established law enforcement authorities with information they claim to have. Those individuals have also never taken part in any parole board and court hearing against parole for Waluś.”

Mbhazima Shilowa, who was the secretary-general of Cosatu at the time, said on Twitter: “Today, 28 years ago, was just getting into my car for Boyne when a message came on my pager to say Chris has been killed. Rushed to his house and found his lifeless body. What a loss for the country. We do not know how history would have turned out. We can only speculate.”

By The African Mirror