In these dark days, hopefully sport will give us something to celebrate
Chris Hani’s funeral at Soccer City in 1993 is a stark reminder that we have perhaps come full circle
Long before I ever went to what used to be called Soccer City to write about sport, and even longer before anyone imagined that the turf would stage a Springbok Test or even a World Cup final, that venue hosted one of the most significant political events in the emergence of SA’s democracy.
For two-and-a-half days in April 1993, the stadium was the setting for the funeral of Chris Hani, the ANC leader who had been assassinated at his Boksburg home a week earlier, on Easter Saturday.
A week before his murder Hani, the head of uMkhonto we Sizwe, had called for ANC-aligned self-defence units to be transformed into township peace corps. The SDUs had played a key role in protecting township residents, but by the time Hani addressed an East Rand peace summit, the majority had gone rogue...