Chris Hani’s blood nourished our freedom - Masina

2016-11-17 19:02
The spot were Hani died after being shot by Janusz Walus (Mpho Raborife, News24).

The spot were Hani died after being shot by Janusz Walus (Mpho Raborife, News24).

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Johannesburg - Slain SACP leader Chris Hani’s home in Dawn Park, Ekurhuleni, and the surrounding area will be turned into a heritage site to honour his memory, Mayor Mzwandile Masina said on Wednesday.

“We want to relive the life of Chris Hani and we are working very closely with the family so that we can teach future generations about what Chris Hani stood for and how he lived,” Masina told reporters outside Hani’s home in Hakea Crescent, shortly after handing the keys and title deed to his widow Limpho.

Plans to develop the area included turning the house into a museum, building a library, erecting a statue at a nearby park, and constructing walkways from the park to Hani’s grave in South Park Cemetery, Boksburg.

“We are hoping to spend not less than R50 million on all the projects that I’m talking about, to preserve the history of comrade Chris Hani,” Masina said.

“You know that his blood nourished the freedom that we enjoy today. It was after his death that it became very apparent that the apartheid government could no longer hold back the date of the 27th of April,” he said, referring to the 1994 general elections.

Masina said he was a teenager at the time of Hani’s murder, but the memory of seeing him lying in a pool of blood in the driveway of his home was still fresh in his mind.

He still wanted answers about who was behind his assassination.

“We want the real truth and we are convinced that the truth will come.”

Masina told Limpho Hani that she had fought for the country’s liberation in her own right.

“You remain an icon, a fearless woman. You are our hero in your own right. You have not lived in the shadow of your husband.”

Limpho expressed her gratitude to Masina and the municipality for buying back the house she once shared with her husband and raised her family in. When she had initially heard of their plan to buy it back, she said she was skeptical.

She moved out after his murder. The house had several owners since then.

'I miss my husband'

“Today is a lovely day for me and for my family. What a beautiful surprise. When you told me you are going to do this project, I couldn’t imagine how you are going to do it.

“And because I’m a control freak, I was expecting him to come to me for consultations, which he did not, so I had my concerns. But when I got here, I was glad, it is beautiful.

After handing over the keys and title deed, Masina and Hani were given a tour of the house and told what the layout of the museum would look like.

After entering the gate, one is greeted by an outline of where his body lay in the driveway. A white arrow points to a bullet hole in the garage door.

The house currently has no furniture, but on the walls of each room are photos representing different themes in Hani’s life. The photos in his garage depict the public’s reaction to news of his death. They include a picture of a somber-looking Nelson Mandela at the funeral service in a packed FNB Stadium.

In another room, one sees Hani sitting with union leaders, including fellow SACP leader Joe Slovo, then NUM leader Cyril Ramaphosa, and trade unionist Jay Naidoo.

On the walls in another room are photos of Hani as a father. There is a picture of his daughter Lindiwe laying wreaths at her father’s grave. Facing this is a photo of Hani himself, as though he is watching her.

The main room in the house has pictures of both Limpho and Hani next to each other. Directly opposite the pictures is a mirror with the words “I miss my husband” in bold red letters.

Anti-communist Polish refugee Janusz Walus shot and killed Hani on April 10, 1993. Conservative party MP at the time, Clive Derby-Lewis, had supplied Walus with the gun.

Derby-Lewis died on November 3, aged 80.


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