JOHANNESBURG, April 10 – Chris Hani’s daughter on Wednesday said her father would have been disappointed to see leaders looting and serving their own interests instead of serving the people they swore to serve during the struggle for liberation in South Africa.
Hani’s daughter Lindiwe was speaking in Ekurhuleni at the 26th commemoration of the assassination of the then South African Communist Party (SACP) leader and liberation struggle icon.
Hani, also chief of staff of uMkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), was assassinated at his home in Dawn Park, Johannesburg, on April 10 1993. His killers, right-wing politician Clive Derby-Lewis and polish immigrant Janusz Walus, were sentenced to life imprisonment for their roles in the murder which brought the country to the brink of civil war amid negotiations for a transition to democracy.
Walusz’ latest parole application was rejected in January this year. Derby Lewis was granted medical parole in 2015 and died a year later.
Hani’s daughter urged all South Africans to take full ownership of the right and privilege to vote which her father and so many others had sacrificed for.
She told government and political leaders to embrace the values that Hani had held, not only in words but in action.
“It is important to carry legacy of our heroes in everything we do,” she said.
“We must wear our leaders with the sense of pride and not only bring them up periodically to appease our guilt, but make them the fabrics of our society by memorialising them in history books, schools and museums,” said Hani.
SACP general secretary Dr Blade Nzimande was amongst those who attended the memorial and he warned the ruling ANC that it could soon lose power if it does not actively confront its pressing internal problems, including corruption, factionalism and anti-intellectualism.
He said the ANC and the broader alliance was faced with serious challenges that were threatening to destroy the movement if they were not address and raised.
“There is factionalism, state capture, corruption, anti-intellectualism, populism and gate-keeping. These belong to the same place, they were born by the same parents, and unless we deal with these, Comrade Chris will have died in vain,” said Nzimande.
Nzimande also slammed loyalists of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule who disrupted the launch of investigative journalist and author Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture which was held in Sandton on Tuesday evening.
“These comrades who have got an issue about this book about our secretary general have a right to raise objections. We give them that. But they have no right in our name to go and disrupt the launch of the book and also threaten to burn the book. They have no right to do so. That is wrong. We are glad the ANC has condemned it because that is taking us back to the dark ages,” he said.
He accused the group of suffering from anti-intellectualism, adding that their behaviour risked destroying the movement if it was not condemned.
“Fighting for the right thing must not allow people to do wrong things. We must condemn that because if we don’t do it, it actually means we are digging the grave of burying this movement.
“This anti-intellectualism means we don’t want people who have ideas, who can have their own view and who can analyse because an analysing person is not wanted in factions as the factions feeds you its own ideas. You don’t question,” he said to applause from the crowd who also sang songs celebrating Hani’s life.
Magashule, who also attended the event, also distanced himself from those who wanted to burn the controversial book.
“I agree with Comrade Blade. It is unfortunate that comrades burn this book. There is no intellectualism about it. We have fought for freedom of speech. Let those who write, write whatever they like to write. When you burn their book you make them so special,” said Magashule.
City of Ekurhulen Mayor Mzwandile Masina, Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa, Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association MKMVA) president Kebby Maphatsoe, SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) President Richard Mdakane and SACP luminaries were amongst those who attended the event. (ANA)