A Communist should have largeness of mind and he should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the revolution as his very life and subordinating his personal interests to those of the revolution; always and everywhere he should adhere to principle and wage a tireless struggle against all incorrect ideas and actions, so as to consolidate the collective life of the Party and strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses; he should be more concerned about the Party and the masses than about any private person, and more concerned about others than about himself. Only thus can he be considered a Communist.
Chris Hani was the chief of staff of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the African National Congress. He fought for 25 years in southern African liberation struggles, from Zimbabwe to Angola. He also built the ANC underground in South Africa.
After receiving the highest vote after Nelson Mandela on the ANC executive at its first legal congress in 1991, he stepped down from his ANC responsibilities to become General Secretary of the South African Communist Party, part of the “Tripartite Alliance” in the liberation movement with the ANC and the Congress of South African Trade Unions.
“The armed struggle has brought about the present crisis of apartheid,” he wrote when he returned to South Africa in triumph. In 1993, the apartheid system lashed out in defeat to assassinate Hani, one of the principle architects of the victory, in order to stem its losses and sabotage the settlement for ending apartheid. The apartheid system blamed Hani—more than any other single individual—for its demise.
Key Martin and Gloria Rubac interviewed Thenjiwe Mtintso, also an MK commander, about Hani. Mtintso is now the deputy secretary general of the ANC, the highest ranking woman in that organization, and a member of the SACP’s central committee. She spoke in Houston during a tour organized by the National Lawyers Guild. This interview is part of a series being conducted by the Peoples Video Network for the upcoming documentary “Hani.”