ANC still committed to peace: Zuma

2013-04-26 22:37

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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma says the ANC government is still, as it was 20 years ago, committed to peace, stability and friendship.

Zuma said in a speech prepared for delivery at the Chris Hani Memorial Lecture in Queenstown that "the ANC government has succeeded because of its history and of the foundation laid by its leaders such as comrade Chris [Hani]."

"Twenty-years down the line we can boldly say that the foundation for a non-racial and non-sexist Constitution and a vibrant multi-party democracy that comrade Chris fought for is firmly established."

Hani, who was SA Communist Party general secretary and chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe, was assassinated outside his house in Boksburg on 10 April 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.

Zuma said the country could learn a lot from Hani's legacy.

He said the country still faced major challenges and backlogs given where it came from.

Gross inequalities and poverty persisted and the rate of unemployment remained high.

"But we know where we are going in implementing the vision outlined in the Freedom charter," said Zuma.

"We have also scored a major achievement in the country through the adoption of the National Development Plan which has been embraced by almost every sector of society."

He said if Hani was still alive today he would be working tirelessly to expand services to all people and build sustainable communities.

"In his memory let us therefore build a society where all our people live in dignity and where women are not battered, raped and molested.

"Indeed we must all start working harder than ever, as we move towards the 20th anniversary of freedom, to build a better life for ourselves," said Zuma.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  east london

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