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What would Hani make of SA today? Spoiler alert: not much

Ideas

What would Hani make of SA today? Spoiler alert: not much

As we celebrate the extraordinary efforts of apartheid struggle heroes, we need to ask: have we done them justice?

Columnist

SA’s painful apartheid history and its glorious struggle for freedom is meaningless if it does not make our journey through the present and the future easier and more prosperous. History is useless unless we learn from it and fashion its pain into prosperity. Indeed, history can easily blight the present and the future. Let me explain.

Our country has entered a cycle of important commemorations of some of its late heroes and anti-apartheid campaigns. On Monday we celebrated Human Rights Day, which commemorates the Sharpeville massacre of March 21 1960, when apartheid police fired on a defenceless crowd protesting against pass laws. At least 69 people were killed and 180 injured. Many of the victims were shot in the back.

On April 6 many will remember Solomon Kalushi Mahlangu, the 23-year-old ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe soldier who was hanged by the apartheid government in 1979. Days after that, on April 10, many others will commemorate Chris Hani, the charismatic Umkhonto we Sizwe, SA Communist Party and ANC leader who was murdered in cold blood by Janusz Walus and Clive Derby-Lewis in front of his 13-year-old daughter in 1993...

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