|Birth Day:||June 28, 1942|
|Death Date:||Apr 10, 1993 (age 50)|
As per our current Database, Chris Hani died on Apr 10, 1993 (age 50).
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After studying literature at the University of Fort Hare, he was arrested and exiled for his membership in the Umkhonto we Sizwe. After undergoing Soviet military training, he returned to Africa to participate in the Zimbabwean Liberation War.
Thembisile Hani was born on 28 June 1942 in the small town of Cofimvaba, Transkei. He was the fifth of six children. He attended Lovedale school in 1957, to finish his last two years. He twice finished two school grades in a single year. When Hani was 12 years old, after hearing his father's explanations about apartheid and the African National Congress, he wished to join the ANC but was still too young to be accepted. In Lovedale school, Hani joined the ANC Youth League when he was 15 years old, even though political activities were not allowed at black schools under apartheid. He influenced other students to join the ANC.
In 1959, at the University of Fort Hare in Alice, Eastern Cape, Hani studied English, Latin and modern and classical literature. He did not participate in any sport, saying "I would rather fight apartheid than play sport". Hani, in an interview on the Wankie campaign, mentioned that he was a Rhodes University graduate.
At age 15 he joined the ANC Youth League. As a student he was active in protests against the Bantu Education Act. He worked as a clerk for a law firm. Following his graduation, he joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC. Following his arrest under the Suppression of Communism Act, he went into exile in Lesotho in 1963. Because of Hani's involvement with Umkhonto we Sizwe he was forced into hiding by the South African government during which time he changed his first name to Chris.
He received military training in the Soviet Union and served in campaigns in the Zimbabwean War of Liberation, also called the Rhodesian Bush War. They were joint operations between Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army in the late 1960s. The Luthuli Detachment operation consolidated Hani's reputation as a soldier in the black army that took the field against apartheid and its allies. His role as a fighter from the earliest days of MK's exile (following the arrest of Nelson Mandela and the other internal MK leaders at Rivonia) was an important part in the fierce loyalty Hani enjoyed in some quarters later as MK's Deputy Commander (Joe Modise was overall commander). In 1969 he co-signed, with six others, the 'Hani Memorandum' which was strongly critical of the leadership of Joe Modise, Moses Kotane and other comrades in the leadership.
Having spent time as a clandestine organiser in South Africa in the mid-1970s, he permanently returned to South Africa following the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, and took over from Joe Slovo as head of the South African Communist Party on the 8 December 1991. He supported the suspension of the ANC's armed struggle in favour of negotiations.
Chris Hani was assassinated on 10 April 1993 outside his home in Dawn Park, a racially mixed suburb of Boksburg. He was accosted by a Polish far-right anti-communist immigrant named Janusz Waluś, who shot him as he stepped out of his car. Waluś fled the scene but was soon arrested after Margareta Harmse, a white Afrikaner housewife, saw Walus straight after the crime as she was driving past, and called the police. A neighbour of Hani also witnessed the crime and later identified both Walus, and the vehicle he was driving at the time. Clive Derby-Lewis, a senior South African Conservative Party MP and Shadow Minister for Economic Affairs at the time, who had lent Waluś his pistol, was also arrested for complicity in Hani's murder. The Conservative Party of South Africa had broken away from the ruling National Party out of opposition to the reforms of P. W. Botha. After the elections of 1989, it was the second-strongest party in the House of Assembly, after the National Party, and opposed F. W. de Klerk's dismantling of apartheid.
In 1993, French philosopher Jacques Derrida dedicated Spectres de Marx (1993) to Hani.
While riots followed the assassination, both sides of the negotiation process were galvanised into action, and they soon agreed that the democratic elections should take place on 27 April 1994, just over a year after Hani's assassination.
Both Janusz Waluś and Clive Derby-Lewis were sentenced to death for the murder. Derby-Lewis's wife, Gaye, was acquitted. Both men's sentences were commuted to life imprisonment when the death penalty was abolished as a result of a Constitutional Court ruling in 1995.
In 1997, Baragwanath Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the world, was renamed the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in his memory. In September 2004, Hani was voted 20th in the controversial Top 100 Greatest South Africans poll.
In 2009, after extension of Cape Town's Central Line, the new terminus serving eastern areas of Khayelitsha was christened Chris Hani.
Hani's killers appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, claiming political motivation for their crimes and applying for amnesty on the basis that they had acted on the orders of the Conservative Party. The Hani family was represented by the anti-apartheid lawyer George Bizos. Their applications were denied when the TRC ruled that they had not acted under orders. After several failed attempts, Derby-Lewis was granted medical parole in May 2015 after he had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer; he died 18 months later, on 3 November 2016.
On 10 March 2016, the North Gauteng High Court of South Africa ordered Waluś to be released on parole under bail conditions. The Department of Justice and Correctional Services lodged an appeal against the parole decision to the Supreme Court of Appeals in Bloemfontein. The Department of Home Affairs has indicated that Waluś may have his South African citizenship revoked.
Currently, Chris Hani is 79 years, 10 months and 25 days old. Chris Hani will celebrate 80th birthday on a Tuesday 28th of June 2022.
Find out about Chris Hani birthday activities in timeline view here.