Today in 1993, Thembisile “Chris” Hani was assassinated. Januzs Walus, an anti-Communist Polish refugee who had close links to the Afrikaner nationalist AWB, shot Hani in front of his Johannesburg home. Conservative Party MP Clive Derby-Lewis was implicated in the assassination. Both men are still serving prison sentence for the murder and Derby-Lewis has been attacked twice in the last month.
Hani remains a revered figure. Sean Jacobs’ analysis certainly suggests why:
Yet, any observer of contemporary South Africa can’t help noticing that while Chris Hani is still lionized and his name invoked in speeches and songs, the principles he stood for no longer animate the political project of the liberation movement he laid down his life for or that his erstwhile comrades in the ruling party, its Communist ally and the main trade union federation have been disappointing.
So as we remember Hani, I thought I’d round up some of the material on his life and the many articles and analyses that are being shared today.
You can read about Hani’s life with South African History Online (SAHO). There’s Janet Smith and Beauregard Tromp’s Hani: A Life Too Short and Tim Gibbs analyzed his role in feeding Eastern Cape activists into MK.
The online repository, Aluka, has material on Hani, including photographs and journals such as these:
DISA has several letters written by the leader, including this one to Ray Simons:
The Community Video Education Trust’s pilot episode of a Community News Programme also features Hani, here addressing an audience on housing, healthcare, and education.
This 2008 article covers the events of his assassination thoroughly. Aluka also has materials covering his memorial, such as the flyer and photograph below:
There are several other short biographical documentaries, including this one by the SABC and another by Afravision.
Africa is a Country has launched a piece to encourage readers to remember where they were when they heard about his death. Head over and contribute.