President Jacob Zuma is to honour the late struggle icon Chris Hani today in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, by declaring his grave as a heritage site. The presidency has also announced that they will unveil the Chris Hani Memorial and Walk of Remembrance Monument in memory of the slain SACP leader.
Today marks the 22nd Anniversary of the former General Secretary of the South African Communist Party’s assassination. Hani was gunned down in the driveway of his home in Dawn Park, Boksburg on the 10th of April 1993.
Clive Derby-Lewis and Janusz Waluś were convicted for the murder and were initially sentenced to death, which was commuted to life imprisonment when the death penalty was abolished in 1995. The two remain in prison.
Chris Hani was the leader of Umkhonto we Sizwe, also known as MK, the military wing of the African National Congress and the General Secretary of the South African Communist Party(SACP).
Hani joined the SACP in 1961 and MK in 1962, and went into exile in the Soviet Union in 1963 while out on bail pending an appeal against a sentence under the Suppression of Communism Act, then arrested under the Suppression of Communism Act, Hani went into exile in Lesotho in 1963. He returned to South Africa in 1974 to establish an underground infrastructure for the African National Congress (ANC). It was then that he became known as a threatening opponent to the apartheid government. Hani’s assassination shook the foundations of the anti-apartheid movement.
The ANC has released a statement saying, “The ideals he lived for are the ideals that inspire us as we relentlessly pursue the struggle for economic emancipation, non-racialism and a better life for all South Africans, we take this moment of remembrance as a moment to rededicate ourselves to the course of a greater commitment to complete the task of realising the fullness of our liberation.”
The City of Ekurhuleni has dubbed the month of April as Chris Hani month.