BOKSBURG. – President Jacob Zuma yesterday declared Chris Hani’s grave a heritage site, on the 22nd anniversary of the South African Communist Party (SACP) leader’s assassination in Boksburg.
Hani, chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe‚ the armed wing of the ANC, was assassinated on April 10, 1993.
Zuma participated in a wreath laying ceremony along with family and representatives of the MKMVA, Sanco Cosatu, SACP and the ANC.
The president unveiled the Chris Hani Memorial Monument plaque before taking a tour of remembrance.
He was accompanied by SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and Limpho Hani, Chris Hani’s widow.
“An important aspect of achieving true reconciliation includes building a new heritage landscape for our new democratic society, based on our history of fighting for freedom, justice and equality,” Zuma said.
“Today we have officially opened the Chris Hani Memorial, which will serve to educate generations of our people about his legacy and the struggle for freedom.”
Zuma said there was an ongoing process to build a new inclusive heritage for the country.
He said historic sites, individuals and organisations that made a contribution during the liberation struggle had been identified for the upgrading and declaration of historic sites.
“Through the upgrading and declaration of these historic sites, we will ensure a more representative and inclusive South African history and heritage,” Zuma said.
“More importantly, this will also contribute towards shared values and a common national identity in the country.”
Earlier, Limpho Hani took to the podium as the crowd sang vibrant struggle songs.
She lambasted the media for reporting wrongly about family matters and the country’s leaders.
Limpho Hani said journalists had been irresponsible in their reporting that Hani fathered a child outside of wedlock.
She had employed a private investigator to look into these allegations and found it held no water.
Hani came to the defence of Zuma saying the attacks on the president was an attack on the ANC collective.
“The attacks have everything to do with the values and principles of our movement,” she said.
“It has everything to do with the president’s decision to create black industrialists and to empower black business.”
Meanwhile, Nzimande said apartheid parks should be created where offensive statues should be moved and be used to educate South Africa about its history.
“We welcome the debate about the symbols of colonial and apartheid oppression,” Nzimande said.
“What we do not agree with is the smashing of statues. We must remove those statues that are offensive statues and create apartheid parks where you can go through and explain one by one who they are.”
Nzimande also called on South Africans not to attack people from the rest of Africa.
Clive Derby-Lewis was convicted of conspiracy to kill Hani by providing the gun that Polish immigrant Janusz Walus used to kill Hani in the driveway of his Boksburg home.
Nzimande said the SACP did not oppose parole because it was trying to be evil but believed he withheld information regarding Hani’s death.
“The truth has not been told . . . Derby-Lewis must tell the truth,” Nzimande said. – News24.