Picture: Siviwe Feketha/Political Bureau

Johannesburg - The death of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela has signaled the closing down of the curtain of history on the generation of principled, militant leaders who were not compromising on the mission to liberate South Africans.

This is according to Ekurhuleni mayor Mzwandile Masina who was addressing the 25th commemoration of the assassination of freedom fighter Chris Hani in Boksburg on Tuesday.

The commemoration was also attended by SACP general-secretary Blade Nzimande, Cosatu general-secretary Bheki Ntshalintshali and ANC elections head Fikile Mbalula.

Masina said both Madikizela-Mandela and Hani had striking similarities in their uncompromising and passionate approach towards the liberation struggle.

He said Hani - a former SACP general secretary - and Madikizela-Mandela's historic meaning to the struggle were closely tied.

"Today we have come to remember comrade Chris Hani as we mourn another political leader who inspired a similar spirit of defiance and resilience among the youth of our country.

"They serve as the most relatable symbols of resilience, who stared at the enemy straight in their eyes reminding them that evil shall never triumph. It was their passion and courage that convinced young people that fear was a prison from which we all had to break free," Masina said.

Hani was gunned down outside his house in Boksburg by right wing extremist and Polish immigrant Janus Walusz in 1993, just a year before the democratic breakthrough.

At the time of his death, Hani was also Umkhonto weSizwe's Chief of Staff and a member of the ANC National Executive Committee.

Nzimande slammed the revoking of Walusz' South African citizenship, which meant that he would have to go back to Poland once released.

"We don't want him to leave this country. We want him to stay here in jail. He must tell the truth about the circumstances around the killing of our leader," Nzimande said.

Political Bureau