The spirit of Chris Hani lives - EFF

Fighters say our hard won democracy suffering at the table of selfish individual interests, kleptocracy and nepotism


10 April 2016

The EFF marks the 23rd Anniversary of the assassination of Chris Hani, who today in 1993 was gunned down in defence of the ideological interests of apartheid by right wingers. We remember this assassination as the worst of crimes apartheid ever committed which robbed black people’s struggle for liberation of talent and leadership. We remember him 22 years after democracy when our country is experiencing the worst leadership crisis and bankruptcy and our people’s collective interests have been abandoned for individuals.

Chris Hani joined the struggle for the liberation of black people at an early age of 15 whilst he was at High School in Lovedale. He went on to study English, Latin and Modern Classical Literature at the University of Fort Hare and upon his attainment of his degree, he went to exile and joined Umkhonto we Sizwe to fight against apartheid. In essence, he lived all his life on the battlefield against all forces that sought to subject black people into perpetual slavery in the country of their birth.

After the unbanning of political parties in 1990, Chris Hani returned from exile to lead the SACP as its General Secretary. When many began to turn their backs against the demands of the Freedom Charter, he was one of the few prominent leaders who still called for nationalisation of mines, free education, and the return of the land. At all platforms he agitated for social justice as a basis for peace and kept alive the radical demands of the Freedom Charter.

Hani was selfless, fearless and existed only for the advancement of the collective interests of people’s freedom. He would have never put himself, his family and friends first before the country and the people. He would have never elevated any individual, particularly those in the leadership, at the expense of the revolution. He was a socialist and advocated the the elimination of a society where production is organised on the basis of the pursuit of profit. He fought for the attainment of reconciling people with the means of production, and build a democratic society where production is for people and not for profit.

As South Africa’s hard won democracy suffers at the table of selfish individual interests, kleptocracy and nepotism, we remember him, his uncompromising spirit and his bravery. Chris Hani always reminded us that many have died for the liberation of our people and therefore our attitude should never be to spare ourselves. It was him who said, “I have never wanted to spare myself because I feel there are people who are no longer around and died for this struggle. What right do I have to hold back, to rest, to preserve my health, to have time with my family, when there are other people who are no longer alive - when they sacrificed what is precious: namely life itself”.

The most urgent quality of leadership today is this attitude espoused by Chris Hani, to be completely selfless. Each year, on this day, many in the liberation movement visit Chris Hani’s grave to put more stones in the pretence that they are inspired by him. They may claim his grave, but the spirit of Chris Hani is not in the graveyards, it is living and kicking on the picket lines of land occupations, struggles for minimum wages, fees must fall, statues must fall, and the fight against kleptocracy and nepotism. The spirit of Chris Hani, and his vision of socialism lives in the economic emancipation movement for the attainment of economic freedom in our lifetime.

On this day, we call on the people of South Africa, in the memory of Chris Hani and driven by his spirit, to come out in numbers and register to vote the EFF.

Long live the undying spirit of Christopher Thembisile Hani, long live!

Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, 10 April 2016