EFF commemorates the 28 anniversary of the passing of Chris Hani
10 April 2021
The EFF dips its head in honour of one of the few genuine communists in the history of South Africa's liberation struggle, Commandante Chris Hani, who was brutally gunned down on this day 28-years ago by elements who feared him for his commitment to his ideas.
General Hani is one of the many gems that white supremacy stole from this country because they knew that their privilege was under threat, should Hani have been allowed to live and lead the people he dedicated his entire life trying to free from the grip of oppression.
Born on 28 June 1942, in Cofimvaba, the then Transkei, Hani long had a passion for education, which characterised his path in the struggle for emancipation. As an avid reader, the ideas of communism captured his imagination once he encountered the literature of Karl Marx and Friederich Engels, and this became his posture in the war against Apartheid.
He was a soldier who never separated the struggle from ideology, insisting on an intellectual diagnosis of the prevailing conditions, and the necessary action to address the plight of poor black people. It is through this study of the history of struggle, that Hani did not hesitate to join the armed struggle.
As a Chief of Staff of Umkhonto we'Sizwe, General Hani led the struggle for liberation in exile, engaging in militant confrontations with the regime in its allies across the continent in places like Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Angola and Tanzania.
The exile of Chris Hani was not a lavish affair of going to concerts and handing out pamphlets like many who claim to be soldiers of exile today. Commandante Hani was in the trenches and camps, recruiting the youth and training them in an armed struggle, while building meaningful relations with the East such as Russia, China and Cuba.
Hani lived his life with no fear of telling the truth. His fiery spirit led him to question those who claimed to lead the liberation struggle, questioning the tactics and strategies that did not have African needs and realities at their centre, risking his very own membership and stature in the liberation movement.
He was dedicated to development, insisting on learning the necessary military and political technical expertise that were required to conduct a revolution and lead a country free from inequality, poverty, racial oppression and dependency on the West.
For Hani, there was no reconciliation without justice, and land was central to what he understood as true liberation. He is part of a generation of Winnie Mandela, Peter Mokaba, whose commitment to genuine liberation inspires us, and who knew that the concessions made in the negotiations were excessive and to the detriment of the liberation struggle.
We take a leaf from General Hani himself, in that we have no belief that those who controlled the levers of Apartheid have changed, as they have made no attempt to surrender the wealth they stole or change the conditions that characterised the Apartheid era post the democratic dispensation.
Our people remain in the labour reserves created by Apartheid known as townships, miners are gunned downed for demanding a living wage, ordinary people are killed by their own government when they demand free education and service delivery and we remain underdeveloped with no industrial capacity to build an economy that is people-orientated.
The likes of F.W De Klerk, who Hani rightfully despised have the courage to say Apartheid was not a crime against humanity and are honoured in a democratic parliament by an organisation that Hani served all of his life.
The death of Chris Hani created a significant delay in the freedom of our people.
The memory of General Chris Hani has been betrayed, as the land still remains in the hands of the white minority, the wealth of this country is still controlled by a minority and there is still no free education in South Africa, an ideal he stood for till his dying breath.
The EFF commits to continue with the noble struggle Chris Hani died for, by ensuring that the land returns to the people and workers are treated like human beings and paid what they deserve.
The legacy of Chris Hani can never be protected by a regime that has committed itself to corruption, inferiority to white people and killing black people, whenever they dare to raise their voices demanding justice and equality.
It is only a generation with a fundamental understanding of socialism as an ideal and practical program of action, that will give dignity to one of the greatest leftists of our continent, and economic freedom most be our means of honouring him.
Long live the undying spirit of General Chris Hani
Issued by Vuyani Pambo, National Spokesperson, EFF, 10 April 2021