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Anti-apartheid icon Chris Hani’s grave vandalized

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The grave of anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani was vandalized in South Africa, a week after the controversial announcement of the early release of his killer, sources from the municipality of Ekurhuleni where the monument dedicated to his memory said on Tuesday (November 29).

“The monument was vandalized overnight from Saturday to Sunday. One of the pillars is badly damaged. One side collapsed and the lighting system was stolen,” spokesperson Zweli Dlamini told AFP of the city located east of Johannesburg. An investigation was opened for theft and vandalism.

The monument consists of four marble columns symbolizing the pillars of the struggle against white power led by the African National Congress (ANC), in power since the advent of democracy in 1994.

A demonstration against the release of the assassin of Chris Hani, in the Hall of Heroes of the Anti-Apartheid Struggle and whose disappearance is commemorated each year in South Africa, gathered dozens of people on Saturday at the call of the ANC.

The ANC said in a statement “deeply saddened by the vandalism and desecration” of the monument.

Communist leader and senior member of the armed wing of the Liberation Party, Chris Hani, 50, was killed at close range in his driveway on April 10, 1993, by the Polish immigrant linked to the far-right white Afrikaner, Janusz Walus.

At the time, delicate negotiations with the white power in view of the first democratic elections in the country were underway. The assassination exacerbates racial tensions and provokes violent riots in the townships of South Africa shaken by the last gasps of the racist regime. In a vibrant televised speech, Nelson Mandela calls for calm.

Janusz Walus, now 69, had been sentenced to death but the new regime abolished capital punishment in 1994, and his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

After several refusals, the court granted him conditional release on November 21. He must be released from prison no later than December 1. Chris Hani’s widow has denounced a “diabolical judgment”.

By Rédaction Africanews

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