“What right do I have to hold back, to rest, to preserve my health, to have time with my family, when there are other people who are no longer alive — when they have sacrificed what is precious, namely life itself?“_ Chris Hani
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the assassination of Chris Hani. Chris Hani was assassinated by Janusz Walus in front of his Boksburg home on 10 April 1993. Walus, a Polish immigrant, assassinated Hani using a pistol he had received from the Conservative Party MP Clive Derby Lewis. The two admitted to plotting to assassinate Hani in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), and said they killed Hani in an attempt to destabilize the political negotiations that were occuring at the time.
Chris Hani was the secretary general of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the military wing of the ANC. He is continuously described as a charismatic, articulate and fearless leader by his peers.
His murderers were captured and sentenced to death, but the sentence was later commuted to life in prison after capital punishment was outlawed in 1995. The two were denied amnesty by the TRC in 1999 on the grounds that they had given insufficient evidence on a number of important key issues.
After serving 20 years of his sentence, Clive Derby Lewis has requested to personally apologise to Chris Hani’s wife, Limpho, for his role in Hani’s assasination. The widow appealed for privacy as the family prepared for the death anniversary. The SACP spokesperson Malesela Maleka told the New Age, “Every year we have an attempt by Derby-Lewis to get out of jail and every year he resorts to all manners of antics. His lawyer should be ashamed. What kind of a lawyer is prepared to lie to protect a client?”
Would Hani have approved of the current ANC government? No one really knows but we can all agree that he was one of the greatest leaders to have ever lived in SA.