http://www.mg. co.za/article/ 2008-04-10- our-freedom- is-written- in-chris- hanis-blood
'Our freedom is written in Chris Hani's blood'
Johannesburg, South Africa
Apr 10 2008
Slain revolutionary leader Chris Hani would not have believed that 14 years into democracy, South Africa is still an unequal society, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) said in Boksburg on Thursday.
"Economic wealth and power is still concentrated in the hands of a super-rich and powerful white male elite, with a sprinkling of black billionaires, while thousands of poor blacks are still struggling to put food on the table and send their children to school," said Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi. Vavi was speaking at a memorial service marking 15 years since the assassination of Hani, the then-head of the South African Communist Party.
He said Cosatu members and the wider community need to recommit themselves to Hani's vision and unshakeable belief in the need for socialism and the liberation of the working people. Vavi said Hani would have been "appalled" by the culture of corruption and self-enrichment, and the philosophy of "me-first" and devil take the poorest. "He would have been disgusted by the very idea of some representatives looting the people's assets by fraudulently awarding tenders to members of their families." He said the fight against unemployment, poverty and inequality faces challenges from dramatic increases in prices of basics such as food, transport and school fees. Price-fixing, in the case of bread and milk, and Eskom's proposed 53% tariff increase will only exacerbate the situation.
However, while much still needs to be done to improve people's lives, Vavi said Hani's contribution had enabled the country to make huge strides forward. "Our freedom is written in Chris Hani's blood. His tragic death mobilised millions on to the streets, forced the apartheid regime to retreat and propelled us towards our greatest victory, the ending of apartheid and the democratic elections of the April 27 1994."
Vavi said in the month of April, the lives and contributions of freedom fighters Solomon Mahlangu, who was hanged in 1979, and Oliver Tambo, who suffered a stroke in 1993, also need to be remembered.