The road leading to Chris Hani's death: 6 Facts about the anti-apartheid hero

The road leading to Chris Hani's death: 6 Facts about the anti-apartheid hero

Tuesday, 10 April 2018, marks the 25-year anniversary of the death of Chris Hani, who was assassinated outside his Boksburg home.

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His death shook the country and almost tore it further apart, but Nelson Mandela's plea for calmness and peace helped stop a potential disastrous situation.

Hani's contribution to end the struggle would never be forgotten, he was and still is a hero to his people.

In remembrance of his sacrifices, with his life being the biggest one, gathered eight facts about who he was.

1. He's real name is Martin

He was born Martin Thembisile Hani in 1942, but he changed his name to Chris after he became a fugitive during the apartheid era.

2. He was an educated man and it was on university where he rejected capitalism

Hani graduated with a BA degree in Latin and English at Rhodes University Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. Prior to that he studied at the Fort Hare University.

While studying at Fort Hare, Hani learned about politics and it was there where he rejected the “racist nature of the capitalist system”.

3. He was a fighter, not only in politics but war as well.

Hani reached the rank of of Political Commissar in the Zimbabwe People’s Revolutionary Army while he fought in the Rhodesian bush war.

His knowledge of war led to him to become the head of Umkontho. In 1983, he was elected a member of the ANC NEC, and in 1990, he moved back to South Africa after he ban had been lifted of the ANC.

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4. He was called a 'younger Mandela'

Hani had the same effect on people as Madiba did. He had a sort of calming ability when he spoke, he was also known to soothe tensions within the more radical elements of the ANC, The South African reported.

5. He was forced out of his own country

Like his father years before him, Hani fled to Limpopo when the apartheid regime banned the ANC within South Africa.

6. His death was inspired by pure captalism

The Marxist was gunned down on 10 April 1993, just outside his home in Boksburg. The assassin was identified to be Polish immigrant Janusz Walus.

Although Walus was the one to pull the trigger, the mastermind behind the assassination was former Conservative Party MP Clive Derby-Lewis.

Derby-Lewis wanted to ignite a race war to sabotage the reconciliation process prior to the country's first democratic elections in 1994. He was also the one who supplied Walus with the pistol he used to kill Hani.

"As a Christian, my first duty is to the Almighty God before everything else. We were fighting against communism, and communism is the vehicle of the Antichrist," Derby-Lewis said, adding he was acting "in defence of my people, who were threatened with a Communist takeover".

Both men were sentenced to death, but Nelson Mandela's administration spared their lives. Mandela then also completely removed the death sentence from the South African Constitution.

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