Avatar photo

By Editorial staff


ANC has become what Chris Hani feared

Had Chris Hani lived and stuck to his principles, he would have stood out among his more venal comrades.

Perhaps the greatest “what if?” in contemporary South African history is the one speculating about what this country would look like today had Chris Hani not been assassinated over the Easter weekend in 1993. Would it have been better, much the same or even worse?

The ANC and the SA Communist Party (SACP) leader and uMkhonto we Sizwe commander was certainly a contender for high office in his party, not only because he had real-world armed struggle credentials, but also because he was a charismatic figure whose revolutionary pronouncements won him a huge following in the townships as the ANC and the National Party negotiated the formal ending of apartheid.

ALSO READ: Chris Hani’s wife says TRC was a waste of taxpayers’ money, takes swipe at Zondo

His image was that of a straight-talking man of the people.

His most cited quote was: “What I fear is that the liberators emerge as elitists who drive around in Mercedes-Benzes and use the resources of this country to live in palaces and to gather riches.”

As the ANC looting machine appears little changed since the depredations of the Jacob Zuma-led state capture era, Hani’s words have resonance today and are frequently repeated by the opponents of the ANC.

Some even go further to speculate about whether Hani was removed because he would have been too much of a threat to his ANC comrades after liberation, rather than the ruling white class.

Had Hani lived and stuck to his principles, he would have stood out among his more venal comrades… there is no doubting that.

Yet, at the same time, he was still a virulent communist who believed in total revolution and was a man whose name was tainted by the brutalities in the ANC camps in exile.

So, how would he have adapted to a world where he was part of the establishment?

Yet, Hani’s words are still a reminder for the ANC of what it has become.

NOW READ: ‘Janusz Waluś must rot… fate will meet him’ – Lesufi

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits