South Africa's Rainbow Nation myth: Would Chris Hani have made a great president?

Chris Hani was the leader of the South African Communist Party (SACP) and Chief of Staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC)

If you ask South Africans of my generation to name the most important political event of their lives, many will cite the assassination of Chris Hani.

Chris Hani was revered for his bravery in fighting against the apartheid government and for his internal dissent within the liberation movement.

In 1990, after Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Mr. Hani questioned the decision to suspend the armed struggle in favor of a negotiated political settlement. He worried that the men who had upheld a racist system for decades could not be trusted to simply hand over power.

Mr. Hani was gunned down in the driveway of his home in front of his 10-year-old daughter on April 10, 1993. White supremacists Clive Derby Lewis and Janus Waluz admitted to killing him. Their intention was to destabilize South Africa’s transition to democracy — and they very nearly succeeded.

Read more: The End of the Rainbow Nation Myth – NYTimes.com.

Recommended