Revolutionaries don't chase headlines: SACP
Johannesburg - True revolutionaries, such as slain SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani, don't strive to be popular and self-serving, the party said on Tuesday.
"In remembering comrade Chris, especially in this centenary year of the ANC, we must keep focused on the priorities of the movement and condemn all forms of opportunism, self-seeking behaviour and populism," it said in a statement, on the 19th anniversary of Hani's murder.
"The most important lesson here is that genuine revolutionaries must not chase newspaper headlines, but must seek to preserve the unity of our movement."
The SACP said Hani was often militant in the way he conducted himself, but knew how to behave in response to specific events.
"Comrade Chris understood well that the correct revolutionary approach is not necessarily the one that appears to be most militant or that shouts the loudest. The correct strategy has to be based on the correct analysis of the present situation."
Learn from Hani's example
The party said current political leaders needed to learn from Hani's example after he was suspended from the African National Congress in 1969.
At the time, Hani and several "comrades" in exile wrote a memorandum to the African National Congress stating they were not happy that the party's exiled leadership was not helping members return to South Africa to help in the armed struggle.
He was suspended for the comment, but the decision was later overturned.
"Note many important things about this episode. Comrade Chris and his colleagues didn't run to the media with leaked disinformation. They didn't address mass meetings in MK [Umkhonto we Sizwe] camps in order to fight a factional battle. They didn't insult the leadership," the SACP said.
"They raised their concerns boldly, but within the organisation, and with the aim of strengthening the ANC and MK, and not of advancing personal or factional interests."
It said political figures who treated their suspensions from the party as an opportunity to insult the leadership and cause divisions would only make the political process appear as a "farce".
Hani was shot dead outside his home in Dawn Park, Boksburg on 10 April 1993, an event which nearly derailed South Africa's first democratic election.
Clive Derby-Lewis, then a Conservative Party member, and Polish expatriate Janusz Walus are still serving life sentences for Hani's murder. Derby-Lewis provided the weapon and Walus pulled the trigger.