Limpho Hani widow of former SACP's General secretary Chris Hani who was murdered twenty years ago, and daughter Lindiwe during the wreath laying ceremony at the grave of her late husband held at Thomas Nkobi Memorial Park near Boksburg in Ekurhuleni. on her right is President Jacob Zuma and on her left are Zwelinzima Vavi, Mondli Gungubele and Sdumo Dlamini. 100413 Picture: boxer Ngwenya

Johannesburg - Slain SACP stalwart Chris Hani was a passionate leader who had the deepest love for his people - and his murder was “shattering” to the family.

This is according to Hani’s youngest daughter Lindiwe in a moving tribute to her father on Wednesday.

“He was a very dedicated cadre and true revolutionary. I am extremely proud of him,” she said in an interview with The Star on Wednesday on the 20th commemoration of Hani’s assassination at Thomas Nkobi Memorial Park in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.

“Twenty years later, we still carry the emotion that is still raw about him. It is a day when we remember that anything is possible and we will carry his memory as long as we live. I will remember him as a liberation of my freedom,” she said.

Lindiwe was flanked by her mother Limpho. She would, however, not be drawn on the current state of politics in the country and the factionalism and infighting within the ANC.

“I think that leadership is a difficult thing. I can’t speculate or comment on that,” was all she would say.

Addressing the crowd later, Lindiwe said the family would always miss Hani “for his courage, bravery and humility”.

“He was one of the most beloved leaders of our Struggle for liberation,” she said.

“Chris Hani was always my hero, but I did not realise he was the whole country’s hero. I didn’t realise my father was Chris Hani until he had died. I did not know he was an exceptional freedom fighter.”

She told of the pain of living without a father, who was in exile, adding that the realisation of what Hani meant to the people was “a blessing and a curse”.

“The curse was that I could never grieve for my father because the whole country was watching.

“Twenty years ago my world was shattered… but the people were and always will be here for our family. I miss my father everyday just as the nation misses Chris Hani. I have come to terms with sharing him… He continues to thrive through all of us,” she said.

Lindiwe and Limpho led President Jacob Zuma and other politicians in laying the wreaths at Hani’s tombstone.

On April 10, 1993, far-right Polish immigrant Janusz Walus walked up to Hani, who was returned from buying newspapers, and shot him at point-blank range.

The murder sparked outrage that threatened ANC leader Nelson Mandela’s reconciliation ideal as the country teetered on the brink of a civil war.

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The Star