– Joined the African Nationals Congress (ANC) youth league at15.
– he became a member of the ANC’s militry wing the MK & the the South African communist party (SACP) while working as an apprentice lawyer (1963) in his twenties .
– He escaped jail sentence under the suppression of communism Act, he fled South Africa for Lesotho & changed his first name to Chris as a nom de guerre, a name used or assumed by a person when in combat or some other activity or endeavour , the real Christopher was his late brother.
– In 1967 along with other MK militants, he fought alongside Zimbabwean Guerilla’s against smiths regime.
-1974 he returned to South Africa to establish ANC’s infrastructure in the Cape.
– In 1982 he was appointed as deputy commander of the MK.
– In 1987 he was appointed the Chief of staff, responsible for day to day guerilla operations in South Africa.
– He survived a number of assassination attempts , however at the age of 50 the revolutionary turned peacemaker was assassinated .
Four shots rang out, Hani was hit at point-blank range in the chin, behind the ear and in his chest ,on one of the very rare days without his guards. Alerted by the sound of the gunshots, Mr Hani’s daughter, Nomakhwezi, 15 – opened the door to the bloodied body of her father…
“Hani’s predecessor in the SACP, Mr Joe Slovo, who knew him for 40 years, said: Ïn every black heart there will be mourning for Chris Hani. His death has dangerous implications and will arouse enormous passions.”.
Slovo was right , Hani’s assassination jeopardised the peace negotiations & placed SA at a brink of civil war…”I fear for our country.” Desmond Tutu said at the time of his murder. Most of Hani’s supporters were rasic militants. Everyone knew violence was brewing & something had to be done to quell the anger.
Walus , the man responsible for the murder was arrested within hours. Most importantly however was Mandela’s televised addressed to the nation that evening in his speech he called for calm”…let us stand together against the men who worship war & move forward to what is a lasting solution…an elected government by the people, for the people. Alot of lives were claimed following Hani’s assasination , though still a significant death toll it is perhaps a fraction of the number, had it not been for the calls for restrain from Mandela & other lthe same day & other prominent leaders from various organisations.