Hani lived and died for his principles: DA

By Drum Digital
10 April 2013

SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani lived and died for his principles, the DA said on Wednesday.

Commemorating the 20th anniversary of Hani's assassination, Democratic Alliance spokesman Mmusi Maimane said he was an inspirational figure.

"Whatever his ideological leanings might have been, we can all acknowledge that he was a principled and determined leader," said Maimane.

"He lived and died for his principles and made an enormous contribution in the struggle against apartheid. For this, he deserves to be honoured."

"We can only hope that the full truth about his assassination will eventually be revealed in the interest of reconciliation," said Maimane.

Hani, who was also chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), was assassinated outside his house in Boksburg on April 10, 1993, by Polish hitman Janusz Walus with a gun arranged by right-winger Clive Derby-Lewis.

They were both sentenced to death, but this was commuted to life in prison when the death penalty was abolished.

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union (Nehawu) also paid tribute to Hani, describing him as one of the most eloquent and exemplary leaders the country had ever had.

"[His] influence resonated far beyond our nation," said Nehawu spokesman Sizwe Pamla.

"As a principled and fearless leader, he paid the ultimate price in his struggle for the emancipation of the oppressed majority from apartheid oppression.

"He was an unpretentious and practical leader who understood the socio-economic conditions of his people and dedicated his life to the struggle for their total emancipation," said Pamla.

He called on the tripartite alliance to lead the nation out of subjugation in tribute to Hani.

"We all have a responsibility to honour the legacy of Chris Hani by adopting his spirit of selflessness, discipline and honesty in serving our people," said Pamla.

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA said the anniversary of Hani's death should be used to reflect and assess whether the country still stood for the ideals Hani supported.

"This is the right time to recall his ‘Hani memorandum', which he wrote on behalf of comrades in exile during the dark days of apartheid when the African National Congress was in exile, denouncing the then lack of accountability, ill-discipline, nepotism, corruption and favouritism within the leadership that threatened the movement," said Denosa spokesman Sibongiseni Delihlazo.

He said it was a time to reflect on whether the country's triple challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment could not have been reduced had the government focused on the workers and the poor.

"It is fair to say that Hani would not be impressed with the slow pace of addressing these triple challenges, which threaten to cripple our victory of democracy," said Delihlazo.

A wreath-laying ceremony to commemorate Hani was held at the Thomas Titus Nkobi Memorial Park in Elspark, east of Johannesburg.

Speaking at the ceremony, President Jacob Zuma said the country was indebted to Hani for his work during the struggle and the debt could be repaid by showing commitment to society.

"We must hasten to usher in the type of society comrade Chris lived and died for," Zuma said.

-by Sapa

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