The Department of Military Veterans joins the millions of peace loving and patriotic South Africans, and other progressive governments and peoples all over the world in expressing their solidarity with the Chris Hani family on the tragic loss of one of the finest sons of the soil and a military veteran par excellence, the late Chris Thembisile Hani.
The late Chris Hani served the military veterans community and indeed the country as a whole with distinction in ensuring that the dawn of the 23 years of freedom and democracy that the country now enjoys, comes sooner rather than later.
His tragic assassination on 10th April 1993 catapulted the country towards an irreversible journey to the advent of democracy that found fruition in the first ever democratic elections of 27th April 1994.
“We dare not forget the sacrifices that Chris Hani, Solomon Mahlangu, Oliver Tambo and many other heroes and heroines across the political spectrum made in helping bring about the democracy that all South Africans enjoy today” says the Acting Director General of the DMV Mr. Max Ozinsky
The late Chris Hani joined the ranks of uMkhonto we Sizwe at a tender age in 1962, left his beloved country and family for exile.
He rose to become the Commissar and Chief of Staff of MK, and inspired many young men and women through his bravery and dedication to freedom and democracy, to join the struggle for liberation that culminated in the dawn of freedom in 1994.
He took part in daring joint MK ZIPRA military operations against the then Rhodesian forces of Ian Smith in the Wankie / Sipolilo campaign of 1967.
Theirs, as MK cadres of the Luthuli Detachment, was to make their way into SA to fight the Apartheid regime for the liberation of all South Africans.
In recognition of his immense contributions the DMV conferred him one of the most distinct honors of Platinum for bravery in Gold in an event presided over by President JG Zuma on 2nd August 2012.
The 24th anniversary of Chris Hani’s assassination should therefore rekindle the commitment of all South Africans across the spectrum to making sure that military veterans especially those that helped bring freedom and democracy, are honored and their lives and those of their families are made better as a matter of urgency and priority.
The fact that this 24th anniversary coincides with the 38th anniversary of the brutal execution of Solomon Mahlangu on 6th April 1979, and the dedication of this year, the centenary celebration of Chris Hani’s mentor, former President of the ANC and the longest serving Commander in Chief of MK Oliver Reginald Tambo, makes this task even more urgent.
May his soul and that of many other fallen heroes and heroines of the liberation war from MK, APLA and AZANLA rest in peace.
May their sacrifices encourage and inspire all South Africans to work together in making sure that we build and better the lives for all Military Veterans and indeed all the people of South Africa.
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