LEADER: Chris Hani
Cape Town - Today, 10 April, marks exactly 25 years since the assassination of anti-apartheid activist Chris Hani and, to commemorate his death, UCT is to rename the New Science Lecture Theatre the Chris Hani Lecture Theatre.

The official renaming ceremony is due to be held on April 25 and will be attended by the Hani family, along with the Deputy Minister of Public Works and deputy secretary-general of the SACP, Jeremy Cronin, who will give the keynote address.

Vice-chancellor of UCT Dr Max Price, UCT chairperson of the Naming of Buildings Committee Advocate Norman Arendse SC and other dignitaries will also be present.

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“We are very excited about this, because it shows the role we played in the Struggle is being recognised.

“We also don’t want the renaming to end there,” provincial spokesperson of the SACP Benson Ngqenstu said.

Hani was the general secretary of the SACP and a member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC.

He also led the joint SACP and ANC military wing, uMkhonto weSizwe.

A fierce opponent of the apartheid government, Hani was assassinated on April 10, 1993, just outside his home in Dawn Park, Gauteng, by Polish far-right anti-communist Janusz Walus, who shot him in the head and back as he stepped out of his car.

Clive Derby-Lewis, a senior Conservative Party MP, was also arrested but was granted medical parole after being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.

He died on November 3, 2016. Walus’ request to be released on parole has been repeatedly denied.

Hani’s death was seen as a turning point in South Africa.

It led to severe tension and growing fears that it could precipitate violence.

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Hani was described as a charismatic leader who garnered significant support among the youth in particular.

“The institution regards the naming of buildings as a historic moment.

“It is a change that will not just linger in the name boards on the side of buildings, but should be a definitive break with South Africa’s painful past.

“The renaming project aims to create a more inclusive and representative institution. However, the most difficult aspect to address in this process is institutional culture.

“Renaming buildings is central to this redress and an important milestone for the university,” UCT spokesperson Nombuso Shabalala said.

Today, a special commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Hani ceremony will be held in Ekurhuleni.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande will deliver the keynote address at a special commemoration in Ekurhuleni today.

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Cape Argus