Remembering Chris Hani
Today is Chris Hani’s birthday. Had he been alive he would have been 69 years old. He died at the young age of 50, when he was assassinated on April 10, 1993. Com. Chris was the leader of the South African Communist Party and the Chief of Staff for Umkhonto we Siswe (MK), the guerilla wing for the African National Congress. Chris Hani was a remarkable human being. They say that his charisma was second to Nelson Mandela. He was a humanist at heart who dedicated his life to the struggle of a new South Africa. A man who took the struggle against Apartheid as his life mission.
When South Africans heard about his assasination, riots broke out throughout South Africa. Nelson Mandela, who in 1990 had been released from Robben Island gave a speech to unite South Africans. In his speech, he said:
“Tonight I am reaching out to every single South African, black and white, from the very depths of my being. A white man, full of prejudice and hate, came to our country and committed a deed so foul that our whole nation now teeters on the brink of disaster. A white woman, of Afrikaner origin, risked her life so that we may know, and bring to justice, this assassin. The cold-blooded murder of Chris Hani has sent shock waves throughout the country and the world. … Now is the time for all South Africans to stand together against those who, from any quarter, wish to destroy what Chris Hani gave his life for – the freedom of all of us.”
Chris was a man dedicated to freedom, social justice and equality for all. One of my favorite quotes from him goes like this:
“Socialism is not about big concepts and heavy theory. Socialism is about decent shelter for those who are homeless. It is about water for those who have no safe drinking water. It is about health care, it is about a life of dignity for the old. It is about overcoming the huge divide between urban and rural areas. It is about a decent education for all our people. Socialism is about rolling back the tyranny of the market. As long as the economy is dominated by an unelected, privileged few, the case for socialism will exist.”
I leave you with these videos of Chris in his own words.
This is a great read on the life of Chris Hani. Enjoy it:
And finally, here are some songs to remember our Com. Chris Hani. Some are South African freedom songs and others just great South African songs. Enjoy.