Vandalism of Chris Hani memorial site condemned amid 'rage' over killer's release on parole

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The memorial site of the late SACP General Secretary, Chris Hani in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni has been vandalised.
The memorial site of the late SACP General Secretary, Chris Hani in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni has been vandalised.
City of Ekurhuleni
  • The ANC in Gauteng has condemned the vandalism at the Chris Hani memorial site in Ekurhuleni.
  • The City of Ekurhuleni said the incident was reported on Monday morning.
  • A spokesperson added the police were investigating it.

The ANC in Gauteng says it is saddened Chris Hani's gravesite, memorial and Walk of Remembrance in Ekurhuleni have been vandalised. 

On Monday, the party said the vandalism at the Thomas Nkobi cemetery in Boksburg happened during a difficult moment in South Africa's history, following a ruling of the Constitutional Court which ordered the release of his killer, Janusz Walus. 

The ruling inspired the "collective rage" among South Africans who disagreed with it, said ANC spokesperson Lesego Makhubela.

Makhubela added it would encourage further racial divisions and embolden those who regarded Walus as a hero.

READ | Hani’s killer Janusz Walus must serve his sentence to the 'fullest' in South Africa - home affairs

He called on the Ekurhuleni Municipality to protect the national heritage site and for the police to arrest those behind its destruction. 

In a joint statement, the national ANC, Cosatu, and SACP, of which Hani was a leader, said the vandalism of Hani's grave was like a continuation of his assassination from the grave.

They added the ruling had once again divided South Africa the same way when he was assassinated in April 1993.
The judgment pleased unrepentant apartheid perpetrators, who celebrated, while the family of the victim, Chris Hani, and other victims of apartheid were hurt and deeply disappointed. This is how South Africa has now become redivided. In this context, the attack on the Chris Hani memorial site occurred, posing a threat to societal stability, just as the assassination of Chris Hani did.

"The vandalism at the Chris Hani memorial is not simply a case of destruction of infrastructure, but the destruction of protected national heritage that serves as both a site of memory and a resource for the preservation of an important component of our country's liberation history," said Makhubela.

City of Ekurhuleni spokesperson Mzwandile Dlamini said the incident was reported on Monday morning, and it had been referred to the metro police for investigation. 

Dlamini added the timing of the incident was concerning as it came after the apex court's ruling.

He said vandalism would not erase Hani's legacy. 

"Such incidents are extremely regrettable. The City is doing its best to preserve its rich heritage, but there seem to be people out there who are hellbent on ensuring this does not happen. Our people should take pride in such facilities, instead of destroying them."


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