PRETORIA – South Africa’s governing party, the African National Congress (ANC) on Friday remembered slain SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani on the 27th anniversary of his assassination, with calls to deepen unity in the ruling alliance which incorporates the ANC, the SACP and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).
“In honour of Chris Hani, we must all commit to work tirelessly to deepen unity within the alliance and undermine all else that seeks to subvert the democratic and mass character of our movement,” said ANC national spokesperson Pule Mabe.
“The most fitting tribute we can pay to our struggle hero for national liberation is to forge social solidarity and unite in our actions to fight the coronavirus outbreak. In the name of Comrade Chris let’s continue to stay at home and show maximum discipline by observing all lockdown regulations even during the extended period for the good of all.”
Hani was shot and killed by Janusz Walus on Easter Sunday, which was on April 10, 1993. Walus was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in October 1993, but this was later commuted to life imprisonment.
Last month, Hani’s killer, Janusz Walus, was denied parole by South Africa’s Minister of Justice, Ronald Lamola. Over the years, different ministers have rejected Walus’s spirited bid for freedom.
On Friday, the ANC said Hani’s death “robbed the liberation movement of one of its best cadres”, who were genuinely committed to the total eradication of the oppressive and exploitative colonial apartheid regime.
“We remember the life of Chris Hani as a patriot who devoted most of his life in the service of his people; a humble yet fierce fighter against apartheid injustice and all its manifestations. Throughout his revolutionary life, Comrade Chris refused to compromise with apartheid oppression or succumb to its tyranny and repression,” said Mabe.
He emphasised that Hani’s immense contribution to the liberation struggle was not for personal glory or fame.
“Comrade Chris Hani was selfless and his contribution to the struggle for liberation was never about personal glory, fame or material advancement. He was never motivated by power and personal privilege. Through his own deeds and actions, Chris Hani displayed unwavering commitment to build a just, non-racial, non sexist and prosperous South Africa,” said Mabe.
“Comrade Chris was committed, disciplined and loyal to the decisions of the movement. An accomplished revolutionary of his times, who enjoyed the full respect of his generation; humble and always willing to subject his personal views and preferences to the majority view.”
In December, High Court Judge Judge Jody Kollapen overturned former justice minister Michael Masutha’s refusal to grant parole to the 64-year-old immigrant.
The judge, however, put the decision in Lamola’s hands as he felt it was not the place of the court to decide on parole. He gave the minister 60 days in which to reconsider parole.
Walus has spent 27 years behind bars at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre in Pretoria.
At the time of his assassination in 1993, Hani was SACP general secretary and a member of the ANC’s top structure, the national executive committee.
African News Agency (ANA)
By Jonisayi Maromo