CHRIS HANIOct 11th, 2012 | By admin | Category: The Return of the Native
“We do not fear open contest and free debate with other organisations. Open debate can only serve to uncover the bankruptcy of our political opponents”
The assassination of Chris Hani in 1993 sent shock-waves through South Africa and the world. It engineered mass mobilisation and anger. However, observers at the time noted its significance. Precisely in the days following his death, the impact of power shift, finally and definitively dawned on the apartheid National Party government.
Chris Hani was born on 28 June 1942 in Cofimvaba, in a rural village called kuSabalele Transkei. The fifth among six children, he attended Lovedale school and studied modern and classical literature at the University of Fort Hare. He also studied in Rhodes University.
Two actions of the apartheid regime facilitated the desire of Chris Hani to join the struggle for the liberation of his people. According to him, “In 1954, while I was doing my secondary education, the apartheid regime introduced Bantu Education which was designed to indoctrinate Black pupils to accept and recognise the supremacy of the white man over the blacks in all spheres. This angered and outraged us and paved the way for my involvement in the struggle. The arraignment for Treason of the ANC leaders in 1956 convinced me to join the ANC and participate in the struggle for freedom. In 1957 I made up my mind and joined the ANC Youth League.”
In 1962, he joined the fledgling MK which began an armed struggle to fight apartheid. His involvement and inspirational involvement made him a target for assassination.
In 1967 Chris Hani fought with Zipra forces in Zimbabwe after receiving military training in the Soviet Union. Gaining the reputation of a brave soldier, he went back to South Africa to build an underground ANC. His courage endeared him more followership especially when Mandela was hounded into prison after the Rivonia trials
Chris Hani was assassinated on 10 April 1993 outside his home in Dawn Park, Boksburg by a Polish far-right immigrant named Janusz Waluś, who shot him in the head as he stepped out of his car. As ordinary South Africans continue to battle for economic rights which was at the top of anti apartheid struggle, we remember the vacuum created by the death of indefatigable Hani. Unless the rainbow country can again be guided by the ideals of Chris Hani to serve the people instead of individuals and their cliques, South Africa shall forever postpone the real liberation of its people.