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By Editorial staff

Journalist


Who benefitted from Chris Hani’s death?

Hani was charismatic and outspoken – destined for higher office in the ANC.


The most enduring mystery of democratic South Africa is: Who killed Chris Hani? And we don’t mean who pulled the trigger – we mean who was the hidden hand behind the 1993 assassination.

Janusz Walus, who pulled the trigger, and former politician Clive Derby-Lewis were the ones arrested, tried and jailed for the murder. Neither man gave up any further information on whether the plot went further.

Maybe it never did and the SA Communist Party leader was just an unfortunate victim of a panicked white racism as the country moved inexorably towards democracy.

Plausible – especially if you consider many whites were conditioned by years of National Party swart gevaar propaganda to believe people like Hani were the devil incarnate.

But who benefitted from Hani’s death? Not white people, because the killing ignited revenge murders and helped start the poisoning of the well of race relations.

ALSO READ: Chris Hani was a man of compassion and commitment to his country

Hani was charismatic, he was intelligent and he was outspoken – especially about issues like corruption – and he was clearly destined for higher office in the ANC. Maybe even the Union Buildings itself…

With him out of the way, though, the race to succeed Nelson Mandela as ANC leader and eventual president of the country would have been wide open…

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