Vandalism of Hani's gravestone 'cowardly'

2012-02-29 21:06

Johannesburg - Vandalising the grave of struggle icon Chris Hani was a cowardly act, trade union Nehawu said on Wednesday.

"We condemn this abominable act of thuggery and cowardice and call on the law enforcement agencies to investigate this incident and put the perpetrators behind bars," National Education, Health and Allied Workers' Union spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said in a statement.

He said the freedoms enjoyed by the vandals were brought about by people like Hani, who had fought against inequality and oppression.

The SA Communist Party, of which Hani was once general secretary, said it was "angered and deeply offended" by the desecration.

"What is more disturbing is that this seems to be a calculated act to target former SACP leaders, as we discovered at the beginning of last year that the tombstone of the late comrade Joe Slovo was vandalised as well," spokesperson Malesela Maleka said in a statement.

Earlier, the Ekurhuleni municipality announced that damage estimated at R23 000 had been done to Hani's grave stone.

"[Municipal] employees reported that Hani's tombstone had been defaced, and a dent that looks like a gunshot on the top right hand corner has been engraved on it," mayor Mondli Gungubele said in a statement.

The desecration was "senseless" and it was a "sad coincidence" that it occurred on the eve of Hani's commemoration month in April.

A team of police investigators would look into the matter, he said.

"Actually, I have instructed our investigation team to leave no stone unturned in investigating this incident so that the perpetrators are put behind bars, where they belong."

The municipality set aside R23 000 to fix the gravestone. It was expected to be back in place within three weeks, before the commemoration began.

"Chris Hani was a peace-loving politician, a selfless leader who put the interests of all South Africans ahead of his own and those of his family... It therefore defeats all logic that someone would be so intent on showing such disrespect to such a great leader," Gungubele said.

Pamla said it would take "more than a cowardly act to erase the legacy of comrade Chris Hani from the history of South Africa, because his legacy is in the hearts of all progressive South Africans".

Maleka echoed these sentiments: "No amount of derision will erase from our collective memory the gallant role played by comrade Chris Hani and what he represents".

  • Rodney - 2012-02-29 21:43

    Vandalizing of ANY grave is disgusting and cowardly, not just so called struggle icons.

      John - 2012-02-29 22:29

      Nope....Grave Stone went in self-destruction mode. Malema was wearing Chris Hani's T-shirt. The ex-Chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe dissagree with Juju

      Derek - 2012-04-10 22:18

      Yes vandalising any grave is wrong. Pity the saps do not put the same effort and our politicians are not as out spoken about the current farm murder crisis.

  • Rodney - 2012-02-29 21:47

    "Peace loving" ? i don't know of a single peace loving person who joins a military wing, serves in campaigns in foreign countries, suppressed a mutiny by brute force including murder and torture. i'd hate to know what you class as non peace loving.

      Deon - 2012-03-02 20:44

      Thanks Rodney for your forthrightness. When the Bokodo Bokodo Rebellion took place in Luanda among the MK, due to repression and torture by the MK leadership in Luanda, it was the late MK commander Chris Hani who lead the reprisal squad to suppress the rebellion and killing more than 200 MK cadres. A memorial should be erected for those MK cadres instead in remembrance of the falseness of leaders and the repression of the masses. Komesho Nonyati.

  • Grimett - 2012-02-29 21:59

    That act of vandalism actually has the opposite effect, cause even though he was in the recesses of our memories, we now remember him again, so hardluck coward !

  • Fildos - 2012-02-29 23:07

    sies man.

      Dries - 2012-03-01 06:17

      Filda, SIES vir wat, die daad of Hani?

  • Fildos - 2012-02-29 23:08

    sies man.

  • Irene - 2012-03-01 00:33

    Maybe that just wanted to make sure the commie was really dead.

      Lunga - 2012-03-01 06:57

      We will pray for you.

  • Garysyd705 - 2012-03-01 10:32

    South Africa worst air disaster occurred early this morning when a small two-seater Cessna plane crashed into a cemetery. Irish search and rescue workers have recovered 2826 bodies so far and expect that number to climb as digging continues into the night.

  • Chris - 2012-03-01 11:38


  • Julio - 2012-04-10 19:34

    But surely, "leaving no stone unturned" will just make matters worse?!

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-05-20 22:53

    Vandalizing graves of any form, and or anything that does not belong to you is disgraceful. People that are caught should be given community service for life.

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