Jacob Zuma at Chris Hani Memorial Lecture

University of Limpopo, 24 March 2007
National Secretary of the Young Communist League, Comrade Buti Manamela,
Members of the Provincial Executive Committee of the YCL in Limpopo,
Leadership of the ANC, SACP, Cosatu and ANC Youth League present,

Comrades and friends,
It is an honour and a privilege for me to deliver the Chris Hani Memorial Lecture that marks 14 years since the brutal murder of one of our most outstanding leaders of our movement in general and the General Secretary of the South African Communist Party. It is also significant that I am today talking about a comrade who was of my generation and with whom I shared the same feelings as the youth about our struggle and our organisations. This therefore evokes deep emotions within me personally given the times, experience and challenges we faced together.
Comrade Chris was a well-known member of the ANC, who grew through its ranks to the level of its leadership. He served in the ANC NEC for many years. The ANC was his organisation for which he vowed to fight in defence and in service of our people.
Comrade Chris was also an MK member, as it is known, again growing through its ranks, becoming a member of its leading commanding structures and finally became its commissar. As an MK cadre he displayed the required bravery and was prepared to lay down his life for the freedom of our people. He fought in the late 60´s in Zimbabwe side by side with other MK combatants. He was therefore an MK cadre with battle experience.
Comrade Chris was a member of the SACP – again he grew through the ranks of the Party, becoming one of its Central Committee members and a politburo member for many years. When he was brutally murdered, he was serving as the SACP´s General Secretary.
All this clearly demonstrates that Comrade Chris Hani was one of the leading examples of a comrade who was a member of the three organisations at the same time and served them without difficulties. He articulated their objectives without contradiction. He was indeed an outstanding cadre to all three organisations. He vigorously defended the policies and programmes of the ANC, and equally defended the ideology of the SACP as well as the Alliance. He always spoke his mind without any hesitation on all the relevant matters.
He understood the national and class questions in general but more specifically in the South African context. He understood the national democratic revolution on one hand and socialism on the other – and therefore the socialist revolution. He understood the harmony on one hand and tensions on the other, within our broad movement and also understood as to how to handle these for the good of our broad movement.
He relied on his well-rooted theoretical understanding of our broad movement as well as its specific complexities. He was a well-rounded cadre but specifically believed in the Marxist-Leninist ideology. He passionately believed in socialism and communism as the systems that would solve the problems of the workers and the poor, and as the ideology that would do away with class antagonisms.

Chris Hani institution 2018 Frontier Theme