Nelson Mandelas address to the nation after Chris Hani

Sunday, April 04, 2010 - 12:38, by Khaya Dlanga

I am by no means comparing Chris Hani to Eugene Terreblanche. They are not of the same cloth by any stretch of the imagination. The point I am making here is that we need a unifier, not someone who will be given to rhetoric.

Address To The Nation By ANC President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, On The Assassination Of Martin Thembisile (Chris) Hani

“Today, an unforgivable crime has been committed.

The calculated, cold-blooded murder of Chris Hani is not just a crime against a dearly beloved son of our soil. It is a crime against all the people of our country.

A man of passion, of unsurpassed courage has been cut down in the prime of his life.

Chris Hani is known to all of us, loved by millions, hated only by those who fear the truth.

We say to all South Africans, black and white, that day of truth will dawn.

Chris spent his life fighting for freedom, democracy and justice.

It was this passion for liberty that persuaded him, at an early age, to commit himself fully to the African National Congress and the South African Communist Party.

Chris Hani knew from personal experience the pain of deprivation and social inequality. An erudite scholar who could have chosen a less arduous path, he nonetheless selflessly chose the often thankless task of being a freedom fighter. He shared the trials and tribulations of three decades of exile. During that time he served the cause of the liberation movement with distinction, earning the respect and love of millions in our country.

His death demands that we pursue that cause with even greater determination.

We appeal to every religious service over this Easter Holiday to commemorate Chris Hani’s life and what he stood for.

Let Wednesday 14 April be a day on which, wherever we are, we hold memorial services in honour of one of the greatest freedom fighters this country has ever known.

We are a nation deeply wounded by callous, uncaring men who plot such heinous crimes with impunity.

The cries of our nation are heard from old men who bury their sons and daughters, wives who weep for their husbands, communities who endlessly bury young and old, infants and pregnant women.

This killing must stop.

Chris Hani championed the cause of peace, trudging to every corner Of South Africa calling for a spirit of tolerance among all our people.

We are a nation in mourning. Our pain and anger is real. Yet we must not permit ourselves to be provoked by those who seek to deny us the very freedom Chris Hani gave his life for.

Let us respond with dignity and in a disciplined fashion.

Let us observe April 14 in dignified memorial services and in accordance with the decisions of our leadership.

The date of Comrade Chris Hani’s funeral will be announced after full consultations with the family.

We shall lay to rest the mortal remains of Comrade Chris Hani in a manner befitting a hero of our people. No one will desecrate his memory by rash and irresponsible actions.

At this moment of unbounded grief for the whole country, our deepest sympathies go to Chris’s wife, Limpho, the children and the rest of the family.

The ANC dips it’s banner in salute to this outstanding son of Africa.”

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Khaya Dlanga

He likes to blog about South African politics and has written extensively on the sensitive issue of race in South Africa.

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