Chris Hani’s commemoration underway

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The 25th commemoration of the assassination of late South African Communist Party (SACP) leader Chris Hani is underway in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg.

Hani was shot and killed on this day in 1993 by Polish immigrant Janusz Walus with the help of former Conservative Party member Clive Derby-Lewis.

Hani was a member of the African National Congress NEC and had led the SACP and ANC armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe as its Chief of Staff and served MK in different capacities since the 1960s.

The event commenced with a wreath laying ceremony at Hani’s grave site led by his wife Limpho and daughter Lindiwe.

SACP General Secretary Blade Nzimande, Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa, Cosatu general secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali, ANC head of elections Fikile Mbalula and other senior members of the tripartite alliance are in attendance.

Hundreds of SACP members dressed in their traditional red colors sang and chanted struggle slogans in honor of their late leader.

Hani’s daughter also paid a moving tribute to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

“My father loved Mama Winnie and she loved him as well. There have been so many things said about Mama Winnie this week, but honestly I found quite unpalatable whether it’s in the media or leaders even those I feel are defending her.”

“Mama Winnie does not need defending, her actions are the reason that I can stand here as an independent, strong and unapologetic black woman. Not only did she keep the home fires burning, she collected the wood and she lit that fire. She was fearless,” says Lindiwe.

CHRIS HANI Timeline by Okuhle Magcaba