Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
24 Apr 2022
10:05 am

Chris Hani’s family tensions simmer over proposed reburial in Eastern Cape

Citizen Reporter

Family member Mphatheli alleges that Chris Hani's widow Limpho even refused to allow for a ritual to be preformed at her Boksburg home.

The assassinated anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani. Photo by WALTER DHLADHLA / AFP)

Anti-apartheid hero Chris Hani’s family in the Eastern Cape wants his remains to be reburied at his home in Comfivaba, much to disagreements from his widow Limpho Hani.

The former uMkhonto we Sizwe (MK) commander, who was also a leader of the SACP, was gunned down outside his Boksburg home in April 1993.

Janusz Walus and former apartheid era MP Clive Derby-Lewis were convicted of his murder that year.

Walus has made several unsuccessful applications for parole, with Justice Minister Ronald Lamola having refused the latest (the subject of the current court proceeding) in 2020, citing the seriousness of the crime. Derby-Lewis was also denied medical parole and died in prison in 2016.

According to a City Press report, Hani’s parents Gilbert and Nomayisi snubbed this year’s 29th commemorations of his death held annually in Gauteng, as tensions simmer over the proposed reburial.

ALSO READ: Chris Hani’s widow urges court to throw out Janusz Walus’ bail bid

Family member Mphatheli Hani told the publication that Limpho allegedly refused to allow the family perform a ritual at her Boksburg home.

Mphatheli said a meeting had also been organised between the family and former president Jacob Zuma in 2009, but he had not shown up for it. This was allegedly the same meeting that Limpho was expected to attend.

It was meant to discuss the reburial of Hani’s remains in his home village and also address the renovation of the ancestral home so that it could stand out as a legacy project.

When he asked Limpho for her email address for correspondence, Mphatheli said he was shocked by her seemingly negative response when she told him she would forward her lawyers’ email address instead.

An offended Mphatheli said Limpho was “forward.”

“She was forward. I treat her as umamophakathi wam [my middle mother]. This is the only mother we have in the family.”

In response to the publication, Limpho said Mphatheli needed counseling.

“I have a duty, as the head of the family and an adult aged over 70 with a home, children and grandchildren, to protect my family, our rights and my husband’s legacy and wishes.

“If it’s true that you had the interview you refer to, your interviewee needs help and professional counselling.”

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