JOHANNESBURG – South Africa remembered killed anti-apartheid leader Chris Hani on Monday, amid requests for a new investigation into the murder that nearly triggered a race war 30 years ago.
On April 10, 1993, Hani, the then-leader of the South African Communist Party, was gunned down by Janusz Walus, a white supremacist.
Many South Africans have questions about the killing three decades later, fearing Walus and his accomplice did not act alone.
Conspiracy theories abound, including everyone from the secret services to the ANC.
“I don’t have closure,” Hani’s wife, Limpho, said on Monday at a memorial service attended by SACP party leaders and foreign guests.
“That is why I am dressed in black today.” I’m in mourning for my life till the truth is revealed.”
The SACP called for a new inquest into the murder last week, with a petition aiming for 30,000 signatures.
“Many… factors were not thoroughly investigated,” SACP leader Solly Mapaila told AFP on Wednesday. “We must know the truth.”
Hani, 50, was shot dead in his driveway in eastern Johannesburg in front of his 15-year-old daughter.
Protests and violence broke out in black townships as a result of the tragedy.
As the black majority in South Africa became enraged, Nelson Mandela appeared on national television to call for calm.
This served to defuse tensions and pave the way for South Africa’s first multi-racial elections the following year.
Walus and his accomplice, Clive Derby-Lewis, attempted to incite racial tensions but were apprehended. Derby-Lewis was granted medical parole in 2015 after serving 22 years in prison. He died of lung cancer in 2016 at the age of 80. Walus was granted parole in December of last year, in a contentious judgment.
“The democratic government for which my husband died has betrayed Chris and his family by releasing his assassin,” Limpho Hani said at Monday’s funeral service.
“The assassin has escaped.” And the chance to learn the whole truth about the Chris Hani assassination conspiracy has now been buried and lost.”