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ANC, SACP condemn vandalism of Chris Hani memorial site

The African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng has condemned the vandalism of Chris Hani’s gravesite, memorial and Walk of Remembrance in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.

The South African Communist Party (SACP), of which Hani was a leader at the time of his death, and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) also said they were saddened by the vandalism of the struggle icon’s monument.

The defacing follows a ruling of the Constitutional Court which ordered the release of Hani’s assassin, Janusz Walus, after several unsuccessful applications for parole.

Continuation of assassination

In a joint statement, the ANC, Cosatu, and the SACP said the vandalism of Hani‘s grave was like a continuation of his assassination from the grave.

“The judgment pleased unrepentant apartheid perpetrators, who celebrated, while the family of the victim, Chris Hani, and other victims of apartheid were hurt and deeply disappointed. This is how South Africa has now become redivided.

“In this context, the attack on the Chris Hani memorial site occurred, posing a threat to societal stability, just as the assassination of Chris Hani did.”

The trio called on law enforcement authorities to move swiftly in their investigations into who was behind the provocative ravaging of the memorial site, and bring them to book.

ALSO READ: Janusz Walus to serve his parole in South Africa, not Poland – Motsoaledi

Collective rage

Meanwhile, ANC spokesperson Lesego Makhubela said the ruling to grant Walus parole inspired the “collective rage” among South Africans who disagreed with it.

“The vandalism at the Chris Hani memorial is not simply a case of destruction of infrastructure, but the destruction of protected national heritage that serves as both a site of memory and a resource for the preservation of an important component of our country’s liberation history.”

Makhubela added the act would encourage further racial divisions and embolden those who regarded Walus as a hero.

Damages

ALSO READ: Parole for Chris Hani’s killer: Judiciary seems oblivious to history

City of Ekurhuleni spokesperson Mzwandile Dlamini said the lighting system of the facility had been removed, and one of the pillars was badly damaged.

He said there was also a break-in at the information centre situated along the walk.

Dlamini said it was “puzzling” that the vandalism comes after the court granted Walus parole.

Walus’ parole

On Monday, Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi said Walus had been granted residence so that he could serve out his parole in South Africa.

Motsoaledi said the decision to grant Walus residence was taken in line with an undertaking that the Department of Home Affairs made during the court proceedings.

Walus shot Hani on 10 April 1993 and spent almost 30 years behind bars.

ALSO READ: ConCourt must ‘take responsibility’ for ‘consequences’ of Janusz Waluś’ release, says EFF

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