Thursday, April 07, 2016

COSATU Statement on the 23rd Anniversary of the Death of Cde Chris Hani
7 April 2016

The Congress of South African Trade Unions will be commemorating the 23rd anniversary of Comrade Chris Hani's gutless killing this coming Sunday 10 April 2016.Comrade Chris Hani was a disciplined and courageous revolutionary, who was killed by pathetic cowards, who wanted to prolong their white, discredited and evil minority rule.

The federation finds it revolting and infuriating that his killer has been granted parole by a condescending judge, and that some people are claiming that his killer deserves his freedom because he has paid his price. There is no price that can be put on a revolutionary hero, who never wavered in the face of evil and a loving father who died fighting for the oppressed poor. COSATU is fully supportive of the decision by the Minister of the Justice, Michael Masutha to appeal the court's judgment to grant Janus Walusz parole. This cold blooded killer needs to be left to rot in prison until he gives the family and the people of South Africa answers that they demand.

As workers we will use this moment and occasion to reflect on the legacy that Cde Chris Hani left behind. He was a working class hero who earned his grass root popularity by being a principled leader, and a passionate defender of the working class.

He spent his life courageously fighting corruption, elitism, bureaucracy, factionalism and favouritism. He never used his power and positions to advance his own personal or factional interests, and was always disciplined enough to subject himself to organisational discipline.

COSATU has noted that some people are quick to quote Cde Chris Hani, but are not prepared to emulate him by subjecting themselves to organisational discipline and democratic centralism.

Cde Hani has a lot to teach us at this time when political hysteria rules, and stuffy conformists are posing as radicals. We have seen an unprincipled call by opposition parties led by the DA for the impeachment of the president of the country. This has been followed up by the formation of a coalition of the "virtuous" that has called for regime change and committed themselves to mobilising for a coup. COSATU is calling on all workers and progressive forces to defend and defeat these naked acts of subversion.

ANC members should take lessons from Cde Chris Hani and use organisational structures and processes to raise their issues. If there is going to be any change to the deployment of ANC leaders that decision should only be taken by the ANC structures following internal processes and in consultation and discussions with its alliance partners. The ANC mavericks that have publicly made this call are strengthening the rightwing agenda and are just seeking attention and not concerned about finding organisational solutions.

Despite his enormous popularity, Cde Chris Hani was never populist and knew that the revolution was bigger than himself. He was never power hungry and was prepared to be led and allow the organisation to have the final say on issues.

Without fear of contradiction we can safely say that Cde Chris would never have colluded with the rightwing DA against the movement. We have seen former communists and trade unionists joining forces with the DA, a party of rabid racists, hard-line segregationists and white supremacists to attack the movement and its members.

We should never forget that the DA stand for the exploitation of the workers and the working class something Cde Chris spent his life opposing. The DA is hell bent on reversing qualitative democratic advances made by the ANC government and they vociferously defend the ill-gotten white privileges, something that Cde Chris was totally against.

We can claim for certain that Cde Chris Hani would not have voted with the DA to help them with their regime change agenda. He was an anti imperialist revolutionary that would not have allowed the imperialist forces and their proxies to succeed in their regime change project.

COSATU calls on workers to ensure that they do not join forces with individuals and parties that advocate for the de-regulation of labour markets, resulting in the increase in the rate of exploitation of the working class. Let us isolate those who advocate for the de-regulation of financial markets in order that big business can maximise its profits. Workers and self respecting trade unionists have no business supporting or being allying themselves with the DA. This is a party that is constantly calling for the liberalisation of trade in order to facilitate the integration of the South African economy into the global chains of production, which will ultimately limit the capacity of the country to industrialise.

To honour Cde Chris Hani, we need to refuse to be puppets and useful idiots of big business and imperialists. We cannot afford to walk in fear of each other and tear ourselves apart to satisfy people, who do not care about us. Let us find solutions to our problems without allowing the enemy to weaken the African National Congress. COSATU reiterates its call that if the movement is to maintain its unity and clarity of purpose and policy, the parasitic element that uses the movement and the state to loot and neutralise its policy positions should be isolated from the ranks of the movement.

We need to stop the corporate capture of the state by the Guptas of this world and also by the ravenous monopoly capital. Let us continue to honour this revolutionary by fighting factionalism, elitism, gate-keeping, corruption and favouritism inside the movement and in its government.

Let us fight privatisation and demand the strengthening of the state's capacity to deliver services to the people and also intervene in the economy. We know that Cde Hani was opposed to privatisation and believed that all people deserved to have decent wages, shelter and full access to basic necessities.

COSATU calls on all workers to register and ensure that they exercise their right to choose their local representatives in the upcoming local government. They should remember that these elected representatives will serve their communities for the next five years. They will also be responsible to ensure that they as citizens have access to services that impact their lives on a daily basis like; water, electricity, sanitation, decent roads and other amenities. Comrade Chris Hani laid his life down to ensure that we have a right to vote and control our own destinies and by exercising and defending our rights, we will ensure that his death was not in vain.

Let us register and vote for the ANC to defend our revolutionary gains!

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (National Spokesperson)
Congress of South African Trade Unions
110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street

P.O.Box 1019
South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct 010 219-1339
Mobile: 060 975 6794

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