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A Letter to Comrade Martin Thembisile (Chris) Hani


A Letter to Comrade Martin Thembisile (Chris) Hani

April 10, 2018

Comrade Chris,
To an ordinary mortal it would seem odd that I should communicate with you, us being worlds apart. To a Christian, such as I am, and to you, born a Catholic, being a committed member of the South African Communist Party (SACP), notwithstanding, the belief in and notion of life in the world after comes naturally. Furthermore, very African as both of us are, we firmly believe in the presence in our midst, of the souls of the departed, residing in, among other places, the hills and mountains, the valleys, the pristine forests and woods, and in our homes, among other beauties mother nature has endowed mother Africa. I therefore have no hesitation whatsoever in undertaking this mission of communicating with you Comrade Hani, coming as it does, on the 25th anniversary of your departure.

The chilly southern hemispherical autumn Easter Saturday of 10th of April, 1993, was the longest day in the final struggle for the freedom of South Africa, and for the emancipation of the black person in Africa and the world over. For as you lay in blood, murdered by the fatal shots fired by one infamous polish immigrant by the name of Janusz Walus, momentarily South Africa came to a standstill, the calmness before the impending storm, as the rest of Africa tuned in to SABC, BBC, VOA, local channels, grapevines, or whatever means, hoping, against hope, that it would be, what we now refer to as fake news. Sadly, you had departed, and the final struggle for South Africa would never be the same without your presence. Janusz, as it turned out, was not acting alone. It was not an act of a madman, mad as the act was. For, an accomplice, a hard core racist by the name of Clive Derby-Lewis, would be apprehended in no time. As you are aware by now Clive was in the National Party and later on a Member of Parliament from the Conservative Party. Both Janusz and Clive would, after a charged trial, be sentenced to rendezvous with a hangman, an appointment they did not keep, luck having been on their part due to the scrapping of the death penalty by the then new era, with sentences being commuted to life imprisonment. Paroled due to ill health, the unrepentant Derby-Lewis would subsequently pass on, on 3 November 2016. Interviewed a few days before his encounter with death Clive stressed that you were “a hardcore communist determined at all costs to lay the country to waste…” Even as he approached his death-bed he was of the belief that you were radical, uncontrollable, and enemy number one of the white people. As for Janusz, the unrepentant murderer had the audacity to request for parole. Successful first, the parole was later overturned by the Supreme Court. His South African citizenship has been revoked and an order has been made for him to be deported back to his native Poland upon serving the reminder of his sentence.

Comrade Hani, you are probably wondering why I should belabor on historical events 25 years after. An old African adage says “If one does not know where to go, one should at the very least know where one has come from”.  I trust you will agree with the premise that Africa’s underdevelopment has a lot to do with our not being able to learn the lessons of, and from, history.

The calm before the storm. That would be the situation before news of your death spread like the veld fire. Hell would break loose after that. For black South Africa for once would lose hope in the process of reconciliation and take law into their own hands, with rioting spreading across your beautiful and beloved country. With negotiations for a new dispensation in peril, Frederik Willem de Klerk (F.W. de Klerk) had to appeal for support from none other than your mentor, the scion of the struggle to end apartheid, graduate of Robben Island Prison, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (Madiba), to quell the situation which was going out of hand. And Madiba rose to the occasion in his famous address to the Nation: “Tonight I am reaching out to every single South African, black and white, from the very depth of my being. A white man, full of prejudice and hate, came to our country and committed a deed so foul that our whole nation now teeters on the brink of disaster. A white woman, of Afrikaner origin, risked her life so that we may know, and bring to justice, this assassin. The cold blooded murder of Chris Hani has sent shock waves throughout the country and the world. What has happened is a national tragedy that has touched millions of people, across the political and colour divide……..Now is the time for all South Africans to stand together against  those who, from any quarter, wish to destroy what Chris Hani gave his life for-the freedom of all of us…….This is a watershed moment for all of us. Our decisions and actions will determine whether we use our pain, our grief and our outrage to move forward to a lasting solution for our country-an elected government of the people, by the people and for the people…..Chris Hani was a soldier. He believed in iron discipline. He carried out instructions to the letter. He practiced what he preached…..Let us honour this soldier…..in a fitting manner. Let us rededicate ourselves to bringing about the democracy he fought for all his life……..Chris Hani is irreplaceable in the heart of our nation and people. When he returned to South Africa after three decades in exile, he said: “I have lived with death most of my life. I want to live in a free South Africa even if I have to lay my life for it”…….We are a nation in mourning……Chris Hani has made the supreme sacrifice. The greatest tribute we can pay to his life’s work is to ensure we win freedom for our people.

Comrade Chris, Madiba, in a few words, eloquently summarized who you were and what you are. He did so on behalf of the people of South Africa and indeed on behalf of Africa. That was Madiba, Madiba of the Rivonia Trial. Those few words uttered by Madiba were a watershed in the final struggle propelling South Africa to freedom. Your death Comrade Chris, was not in vain.

Upon hearing the news that Comrade Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada was on his way to meet with you, I posted in the social media a short tribute: RIP Comrade Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada, ANC Stalwart, ANC Elder, Graduate of Robben Island, Prison-mate of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Raymond Mhlaba, Govan Mbeki, Elias Motsoaledi, Denis Goldberg and Andrew Mlangeni. We do not mourn. We celebrate the life of a distinguished South African, above all an African. Greet Mandela, Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Patrice Lumumba, Samora Machel, and Chris Hani…….Hamba Kahle Kathrada.

A few days after the tribute had been posted in the media, one young man approached me and curiously asked, “Mzee, who was Chris Hani?”I took a few minutes to explain to him who you were. I obviously did not do justice to the young lad. As such, I decided I would respond, or try to respond to his question through my letter to you Comrade Chris Hani, and from your own succinct account of your life, written in February 1991, and from records of others, I have gathered the following:

Comrade Chris Hani, you were born on a cold southern winter day of 28 June 1942 in the village of Sabalele in rural Cofimvaba in what was then Transkei, now Eastern Cape, South Africa. You were fifth of six children of Nomayise Mary and Gilbert Hani. Devout Catholics as they were, your parents baptized you Martin  Thembisile Hani. You were enrolled into a catholic school and became an altar boy. At some stage you considered life in the Ministry. Thanks to your father you were persuaded not to. If it were not for him, a chapter, an important chapter in the struggle for freedom in South Africa would have been lost. We would by now be making reference to “Bishop” or Chris “Cardinal” Hani. We are profoundly grateful for his foresight and vision. Later on you were to be enrolled at Matanzima Secondary School in Cala, Transkei, with the School being named after Chief Matanzima, who later was to play an infamous role in the Bantustan Policy of apartheid South Africa. Later on you moved to Lovedale College in Alice, Transkei. You were introduced to the politics of the struggle at a very tender age. At 15 you were already a member of the ANC Youth League (ANCYL). In 1959 you registered for a Bachelor’s degree at the University of Fort Hare, Alice, Transkei. I am advised that it was at that famous liberal black institution, Fort Hare, that you were introduced to Marxism, became a member of the South African Communist Party (SACP), one of the first people to join the newly formed Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK). Upon completion of your studies, graduating with a degree in English and Latin, you moved to Cape Town where you were introduced to Govan Mbeki and became involved in trade union activities with the South African Congress of Trade Unions (SACTU), and was recruited into a secret regional “Committee of Seven’’ of the MK. The underground activities you were involved in landed you into trouble with the apartheid regime and you were prosecuted under the “Suppression of Communism Act” and for aiding a banned organization. You avoided an 18 month jail term by fleeing to Botswana, and returning clandestinely to Soweto where you continued with recruitment of MK cadres and other underground activities. The regime was after you and other cadres and it was decided that you go into exile and continue with the struggle.

Once in exile you started a 30 year sojourn which took you and your comrade in arms to Zambia, Tanzania, USSR, Lesotho, Swaziland, South Africa, Rhodesia, Zambia, and Angola. For the record, allow me to pick two countries where you spent more time in building and shaping the structures of MK, Tanzania and Zambia. Upon your return from USSR, as a soldier and political commissar, you were assigned the task of establishing, from scratch, the ANC training camp at Kongwa, Tanzania. Your stay in Lesotho and Swaziland was hectic. For you escaped numerous assassination attempts. It was from Zambia, near Livingstone that you led a contingent of MK fighters who together with ZIPRA fighters to enter Rhodesia and got involved in the now famous Wankie battle. This was the first battle experience that MK cadres had ever been involved. Apart from battle experience, the aim of the Wankie incursion was to create a corridor through which MK would cross into South Africa. Despite the setbacks MK, Wankie was by all means a watershed in the struggle. It exposed the non-invincibility of the Smith’s settler army. It gave MK fighters the first battle experience. Wankie would also come to redefine the political and military direction of the struggle.

The latter observation is pertinent in the sense that under your leadership a critical appraisal was made of the struggle as a result of the Wankie incursion. After a tactical withdrawal of the surviving soldiers, jail awaited you in Botswana, ostensibly for unauthorized carrying of weapons and illegal entry. After 18 months in incarceration in Gaborone Prison, you and your colleagues were sent back to Lusaka. The Wankie experience exposed the weaknesses and shortcomings of ANC-in-exile, the distance between the military wing, MK, and the political establishment, and within the MK itself. Battle hardened, fearless, and out of conviction Comrade Martin Thembisile (Chris) Hani and your colleagues: W. Hempe; Z.R. Mbengwa (Jeqe); Tamana Gobozi (Mkiza); Leonard Pitso; G.S. Mose (Mlenze): and Ntabenkosi Fipaza (Mbali), in the brackets being noms de guerre, you bemoaned the ‘rot’ in the ANC, and the possible collapse of the MK. In a document now famously referred to as the Hani Memorandum, you made a critical review of and recommendations on, among other matters:- the Wankie battles; the aloofness of the ANC leadership in exile; careerism of that leadership, being career politicians as opposed to professional revolutionaries; the lack of leadership at the home front; involvement of the leadership in business for personal ends; disjoint between the ANC leadership and MK leading to lack of political control of MK; inability by the ANC leadership to analyze and assess the Rhodesia campaigns including neglect of the combat experienced MK fighters; secret trials and harsh punishments including executions meted to purported traitors; the central role of the youth; nepotism; and indifference of the leadership to heroes who had fallen in battle. It has not been easy to lay a hand on a copy of your Memorandum. Suffice it to say that I have benefited from the well researched article “The ‘Hani Memorandum’ – introduced and annotated, by Hugh Macmillan (hughmacm@gmail.com)”.

You and your six comrades were ostracized as result of the Memorandum. You were expelled from the ANC in March 1969. At the ANC Party Congress in Morogoro, Tanzania, in June 1969, the Hani Memorandum became the basis of the restructuring of the ANC, and the formation of a coherent strategy for the struggle, and placing the military wing, MK, under the political leadership through the formation of a Revolutionary Council. You were vindicated and your membership subsequently reinstated. You went on to become a Member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, Deputy Commander of MK, Chief of Staff of MK, at the time of your demise, Secretary General of the SACP, succeeding the veteran freedom fighter, Joe Slovo. The rest, as they say, is history.

Whenever I read your Memorandum, I am reminded of a memorandum that Mwalimu Julius Nyerere wrote in 1962 on the imperative of self-criticism in any organization. In the memorandum, “TUJISAHIHISHE”, Mwalimu underscored the importance of any organization to periodically re-examine itself, re-assess its progress and change its strategy if need be, in order to achieve its objectives. Criticism and self-criticism are essential elements in that regard and those who offer alternative thinking should not be regarded as enemies of the organization. No single person has the monopoly of wisdom in an association. He was referring to the then Tanganyika African National Union (TANU), of which he was the Chairman. It would seem, Comrade Hani, you and your colleagues had read “TUJISAHIHISHE”.

Comrade Martin Thembisile (Chris) Hani, this letter would be incomplete if I were to fail to remind us, you and me, of the meeting we had in your office in Johannesburg in late 1992, a meeting which was also attended by my colleague Patrick Rutabanzibwa. I was granted permission to visit South Africa which was in transition towards majority rule. The aim was to assess the social and political situation and to offer informed advice to the leadership on possible impacts to Tanzania. My delegation included Stephen Bugaisa, the then Commissioner for Mines, and Patrick Rutabanzibwa, then Commissioner for Energy and Petroleum Affairs. I was also accompanied by Lucy Akiiki, my wife. I was determined to meet with you as a matter of priority in order to get your perspective on the then emerging situation. I knew it would not be easy, more so because of your involvement in the CODESA process. I had to seek the assistance of our common friend Brigadier General (Rtd) Hashim Mbita, the then Executive Secretary of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Liberation Committee. Incidentally, Hashim Mbita is now with you in heaven, as of 26 April 2015. In message introducing me to you, Col. Mbita wrote:

Dear Comrade Chris,
Compliments.
As I write to you, I am aware of how deeply involved you are with CODESA Commissions let alone the mammoth job you have to fully establish the SACP after so many years of banishment by the regime and in particular at this time when communism seems to be no longer fashionable. You have my sympathies.
Secondly, I wish to convey to you my heartfelt condolences on the loss of 14 ANC cadres who died here early this month as they were being driven from Mazimbu for repatriation……..
Thirdly, I am introducing to you Prof. M.J. Mwandosya, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Water, Energy and Mineral Resources, who is on official visit to South Africa. He is a dynamic young man and I will appreciate any assistance you can give him to be exposed to the on-going political changes. You can discuss with him anything. He has my confidence……….
Yours in the struggle,
Hashim Mbita  


(L-R)  Patrick Rutabanzibwa, The Late Chris Hani, Prof. Mark J. Mwandosya


Our friend, Hashim Mbita was well known to us as a dedicated and highly patriotic Tanzanian, and Southern African. Having worked with Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere as a Press Secretary, Mbita was promoted to Publicity Secretay of the Tanganyika African National Union (TANU). The Mons Officer Cadet School - Aldershort trained soldier went on to be Political Commissar in the Tanzania People’s Defense Forces, and later Executive Secretary of the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM). In 1974 he became Executive Secretary of the Organisation of African Unity Coordinating Committee for the Liberation of Africa, succeeding my uncle George Samuel Magombe, who went on to become Tanzania’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, and later on, Ambassador to Italy. Mbita was to hold the post for 20 years, contributing immensely to the liberation of Southern Africa. His final report to OAU in 1994 was aptly titled, Mission Accomplished. He paid special tribute to you Chris Hani, and, Oliver Reginald Tambo, Solomon Mahlangu, Peter Nanyemba, Johnny Makatini, Duma Nokwe, David Sibeko, Steve Biko, Josiah Tongogara, JZ Moyo, Hebert Chitepo, Amílcar Cabral, Eduardo Chivambo Mondlane and all freedom fighters “who did not live to see the dawn of this era in Africa.

Hashim Mbita was awarded, The Order of the Companions of Oliver Reginald Tambo, in Gold, by South Africa; The Royal Order of Munhumutapa, the highest award that Zimbabwe can bestow on a foreigner, and the first Son of Africa Award, by the African Union.

I went to visit our friend, the then ailing Brigadier Mbita at Lugalo Military Hospital in Dar es Salaam, and in within a few weeks he was no more with us here.

Your office as Secretary General of the South African Communist Party was located in the building that also housed the National Union of Mine Workers and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU). When Patrick and I managed to penetrate the heavy security barriers we got to your very modest and tiny office. We found you busy in a meeting, with representatives of black South African policemen. You were kind enough to leave the meeting and converse with us.

After narrating the purpose of our visit to South Africa, you responded by saying, “A great challenge lies ahead of South Africa, and a lot needs to be done. The monolith of white power has to be broken. And although many whites are now reconciled to change, it is not the kind of change that the liberation movement wants. What worries me is that there is a revival of white supremacist attitudes in the army and the police force, particularly among elements that fought in Angola and Zimbabwe. These elements pose a serious danger to the ongoing negotiation process”.

Comrade Hani, further, you were of the opinion that, “President Frederik Willem (F.W.) de Klerk’s calling of a white referendum is tantamount to gambling with the future of the country by giving a small minority a chance to veto the democratic process”.

You also reflected on some issues facing the ANC and SAPC during the negotiations and beyond. You remarked that, “The regime’s acceptance of the idea of an interim government to oversee the transition to majority rule is a significant step forward, but there are still many differences to be resolved. Main among these is that Whites want to defend the wealth they have accumulated at the expense of the Blacks, and as such, generally, they do not want to address socio-economic issues”.

On a related issue Comrade Chris Hani you remarked, “The challenge ahead of us is how a post-apartheid government could address the disparities in the society so as to meet the people’s aspirations without stifling the economy. While it is recognized that there cannot be peace without equity, the ANC and its allies realize that we do not have the skills needed to run South Africa’s developed economy”. You went on to note, “Under apartheid the education of the Blacks has been suppressed to the extent that Black youths are afraid of mathematics and science……”

On the thorny issue of land, you outlined that, “The ANC alliance wanted land to be distributed in such a way that there would still be enough food, and without frightening established producers away. Millions of unoccupied land are held in trust by the state. These could play a part in solving the problem of land”.

Comrade Hani, you will recall that when we called on you, you were in a meeting with black policemen. You informed us that ANC had established dialogue with the South African Police regarding black policemen who were under attack in the townships. You were of the opinion that the positions of the SAP, the NP and the ANC on this matter were converging, and that the ANC had sympathizers in the police force, some of who had been dismissed as a result. “In this connection there is a need to begin training officers with the aim of having a police force that would be near to the people at the end of apartheid”, you surmised.

On the security situation in general, Comrade Chris, you advised that, “It would be unfair to say that F.W. de Klerk must bear all the blame for the violence, because he is not in total control. Under F.W. de Klerk’s two predecessors, Balthazar Johannes (B.J.) Vorster and Pieter Willem (P.W.) Botha, special paramilitary forces with considerable autonomy were created. As a result, these forces have been able to exploit differences within the Black Community to promote violence and chaos”.

You also gave us an insight into the rivalry between the ANC and Inkatha and its proxies, and the violence that had been unleashed by the latter in Natal.

At the tail end of our meeting I asked you a question that still haunts me. “Comrade Hani, you have now become a public figure, a political figure. You are more easily accessible than you were Chief of Staff of the Umkontho we Sizwe (MK). You have to address public gatherings and attend CODESA deliberations. This exposes you somewhat. Do you at times fear that a mad gunman could take your life? You posed and remained in a reflective mood for a while. Then you, philosophical as you were, you responded, “Comrade, I do not discount the possibility of such an event taking place. To the extent that I can I do take precautions. But there is a limit to which one can go short of being paranoid about it”.

It was a pleasure for me, my wife Lucy Akiiki, and my colleagues, Patrick and Stephen to meet with you again, briefly, the following day at the departure lounge of the Jan Smuts International Airport, now Oliver Reginald Tambo International Airport. You were in the company of a group of about 8 comrades, who were part of Transkei’s delegation to CODESA. Just before you left for Umtata, you promised to look for me should an occasion arise for you to be in Dar. The appointment never materialized, and the rest is history.

Comrade Hani, our meeting and the discussions we had in your rather modest office in Johannesburg have remained as vivid, twenty five years after, as if we met five days ago. We left convinced that the transition and the CODESA were under the able direction of committed leaders, patriots of your kind. Suffice it to say that people of your kind do not physically live long in this world. Revolutionaries, however, never die. Your ideas, your thoughts, and your teachings remain long after, in our minds and in our hearts. You paid the supreme sacrifice so that South Africa, and Africa, should remain free, free forever.

Izinguquko kazifi za phela. Wena ungokadala, kodwa imibono yakho, imicabango yakho nezimfundiso zakho zosala ezinhliziyweni zethu nasezingqondweni zethu kuze kube phakade. Wakhokha umhlatshelo omkhulu ukuze abantu belizwe le South Afrika ne-Afrika bakhululeke, njalo kuzohlala kukhululekile, kuze kube phakade.

Mark Mwandosya
Dar es Salaam
10 April 2018
                                                                                                                                               





                                   


Copyright© 2017 Mark Mwandosya. All rights reserved

Comments

  1. Thanks for the nice reflection and tribute (an eulogy) article.

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  2. It challenges me alot when I read how tha african youths(men and women) fought for Africa back then in 20th C. But today, African youths are very far and in a total darkness of what is happening in Africa despite the fact that in the 20th C our enemies were very physical(colonialism, apartheid) compared to today were our enemies come with the umbrella of the so called Globalisation(neo liberalism). Every day our enemies change and improve their tactics, its a mind game now. We should intensify the struggle now than ever.

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  3. Nice and full of knowledge piece.
    I'm grateful for this Prof.
    Be blessed.

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  4. Lovely article, great piece of history.

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  5. Brilliant, instructive and extraordinary institutional hindsight; reflective of undiminished intellect. Prof, this one on Comrade Chris Hani is particularly relevant. It speaks not only to the South African liberation story, but a reminder to Tanzania and the rest of Africa ( leadership and all peoples) of responsibility carry on the struggle towards total dignity.

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  6. Barua nzuri hakika. Umemtendea haki sana rafikyo Han. Huko mawinguni ataisoma kwa raha akisherekea na mama Winnie Madikizela thamani ya mapambano waliyoyafanya kwa ujasiri kulikomboa taifa lao zuri.

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  7. Way to go, professor Mark Mwandosya! Enjoyed reading this as it was clear, precise and straight to the point.

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  8. i have learn what i didn't know thanks Professor for this article.

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  9. Thanks for this clear precise wonderful historical work, HONGERA SANA

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  10. Thanks for this powerful information,let his soul rest in peace

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  11. Profesa asante sana. Huu ni ujumbe mzito kwa vijana wa Tanzania na Afrika ya leo.

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  12. Profesa asante sana. Huu ni ujumbe mzito kwa vijana wa Tanzania na Afrika ya leo.

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  13. Prof. Mark hakika umebarikiwa sana katika uandishi. Yaani utadhani si mwanasayansi...! Umenipa hamasa ya kujifunza upya uandishi. Mara zote ninaposoma article zako huwa najifunza kitu. Wewe ni miongoni mwa watanzania wachache waliopata elimu bora na waliokuwa na vichwa vizuri.

    Nimeelewa ujumbe wako...! Na natamani sana niwe napata article zako....! Nimewahi kusoma paper moja uliowasisha kwenye Mkutano wa masuala ya nishati nchini Zambia miaka ya hivi karibuni.

    Nitakutembelea LUFILYO ili unipatie mbinu za uandishi..!

    Barua pepe yangu ni imaniadam61@gmail.com

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  14. I have also enjoyed reading Prof. Mwandosya’s article on Chris Hani. It is indeed a masterpiece both in its scholarly style and in its insightful content capturing a watershed event in the liberation history of South Africa and the life history of one of its heroes. Now that Prof.Mw. has retired from active national politics,it appears he has taken the intellectual pursuit of writing his ‘’Personal Reflections and Narrations” on a number of subjects which have also been enjoyable to read.In this regard, may be fellow retirees can borrow a leaf from Prof.Mw. On the Chris Hani article, as Amb. Tambwe wrote, to some of us who were privileged to be Tanzareps in FLS during that time of the liberation struggle,this article evokes strange feelings of nostalgia for those combative and tumultuous days of the struggle. During my Maputo years (1983-88) the struggle was at its peak and Mandela was still in prison and although I did not meet Hani, I heard and read so much about him and his role in the struggle. However, I used to host Oliver Tambo whenever he came to Maputo which he often did, and we spent long hours in my residence discussing the latest developments in the struggle and the way forward. Naturally,I had close ties with Jacob Zuma who was then the ANC Rep. in Maputo. It is regrettable that both OR Tambo and Chris Hani never lived to enjoy the freedom they fought so hard for. In a different way, it is also regrettable that some cadres of the ANC have not continued to live as per selfless revolutionary ethics in the post-apartheid era, my old friend Jacob Zuma as a case in point. Perhaps this is in line with a well-known phenomenon affecting many revolutionary movements that once their liberation missions are accomplished,they suffer the malaise of “bourgeoisification” of their surviving cadres. As the saying cynically goes, the only good revolutionary is the dead one. Maybe the ANC and even the SACP can not be exceptions to this. Amb. Ali Mchumo

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  15. Awesome memoir Uncle.
    I liked the way your narrative flowed in the past and the present and the past again.
    Leila Sheikh

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  16. Shikamoo Uncle Meki,

    I pray you and the rest of the family are in the best of health and spirits. Thank you for sharing this powerful reflection with me. I was preparing to go to sleep when I checked my messages and could not stop reading. What's fascinating to me is that I started a new job yesterday as a Clinical Specialist in DC, with an agency that primarily serves youth and families facing significant barriers to social, economic, and emotional stability and wellbeing. I met my supervisor earlier today and we talked at length about these challenges, focusing on mental health and how Eurocentric theory and interventions fail to empower and heal many African Americans in the community because they do not parallel the origins of our core beliefs and identity.

    What I would like to share before I go off on a long tangent is that before I left his office he said the work we do is important and can be deeply transformative if we always remember where we came from, and the contributions of those who came before us. In doing so we can in turn remind our clients of the inherent capacity to thrive, which already exists within them, however they have managed to forget for many reasons, from institutional racism and disparities in access to resources, to a loss of ones sense of self and collective identity manifesting as internalized powerlessness, to broadly name a few.

    In short I am trying to express that I am grateful for your words, for they echoed a message I reflected on earlier. I don't believe in coincidence, but believe that God has a way of reiterating a message that may require greater reflection within me. I'm sorry this message has grown so long, and I hope that you have a restful day.

    Best,

    Nancy Clarke

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  17. Comrade Prof. Mwandosya,

    Most of the time when I get the chance to read your excellent and inspiring writings I tend to wonder what would you have been professionally if you had not taken the science route. Possibly one of the world reknown story tellers in the form of an author of books inspiring humanity to achieve lofty heights in socio-economic and political development and transformation.

    Unfortunately, too you were born and raised in a continent which doesn't consider readership as part and parcel of its tradition let alone authorship of books, memoirs and articles. Perhaps, no wonder sometimes we lack the wisdom to run and manage our affairs effectively. It is so saddening to learn that Africa is the least developed continent notwithstanding its immense resource endowments.

    It is indeed from your inspiration that I'm currently writing two books, simultaneously. *God Bless You Prof and keep on writing🙏🏽*

    With Kind Regards,
    Uledi A. Mussa.

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  18. A very good tribute to the legendary.
    Thank you for such a befitting Remembrance.
    Asa Mwaipopo

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  19. Thanks Baba yangu! Huyo Guru Wa Utetezi Wa Haki onatuuma hadi Leo! Vitu adimu ulivyo navyo shurti utoe Kitabu Kaka yangu
    Handley Mafwenga

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  20. Prof. Ughonile. Apart from books you have wtittern, this letter and Mbeya Tech Chancellor commencement speech will remain among very good writtings I have come accross.

    Your commitment to better lives, share knowledge and propel education cant be understated.

    I had to spare your letter to Hani for my early morning read, I made a very right decision. I have been able to convert this letter into whatsup format so that I can share with friends.

    Thanks a lot and May God keep on blessing you to share many similar resources.
    Imani Kajula

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  21. Profoundly inspiring stuff! Prof you are so well informed! My goodness. This is heavy stuff!

    Big up Mheshimiwa na Professor kaka yetu!

    Long live!
    Victoria Kisyombe

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  22. Thanks Prof,what a master piece of the history of our times.Blessings.
    Eliud Karanja☝️

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  23. Thank you for this great article.
    Leticia Mwombeki

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  24. Thank you for a well researched and befitting tribute to Comrade Martin Chris Hani whose sacrifice and dedication contributed greatly to the liberation struggle of South Africa and the rest of the continent.
    Balozi Raphael Korosso

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  25. Well narrated
    Shikamoo Kaka. We are so proud of you. A true professor. I wish this country could breed many more like you. You don't only speak about electronics but you look at the world in totality. Hongera sana Kaka na Mungu akubariki. Asubuhi njema.
    I used to admire Chris Hani and his charisma.
    Shabani

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  26. This is a masterpiece Mark. You have caused my delay for our meeting this morning!
    Ambassador Ami Mpungwe

    ReplyDelete
  27. Mark Mwandosya’s piece on Chris Hani and some aspects of the South African struggle is a master piece! An excellent read!! ARM

    ReplyDelete
  28. Well written this piece could fit into the Tanzania's Diplomatic History Project under the watchful eyes of Ambassadors Elli Mtango and Begum Taj. Amb. Aziz

    ReplyDelete
  29. I enjoyed reading Pfof. Mark Mwandosya's very enlightening article. Thanks Amb. Ami Mpungwe. Amb. Lumbanga

    ReplyDelete
  30. This article by Prof.Mwandosya takes us back to those nationalistic and real political insights of the days of the Southern Africa Liberation Struggle.Tanzania as the Chair of The Front Line State should be proud of her contribution.Lusaka later "became" the home
    of AÑC at the height of the struggle we should not forget the tremendous contribution of our diplomats.Amb.Tsere, Amb. Mpungwe,Amb.Abu Ibrahim and Ache Mtanda.Their homes were not only Chris Hani's but a number of freedom fighters from South Africa,and Namibia. Amb. Mchumo and late Amb Kileo in Maputo,Amb. Nyakyi and Lugoe in Harare and late Amb.Tatu Nuru in Luanda hosted freedom fighters in their respective States after uhuru.
    Those were the days when our opinion was attentively listened to.
    Again thank you Prof.for reminding us of our
    roll in the South African Liberation. Ambassador Saleh Tambwe

    ReplyDelete
  31. Well written indeed.. we'll make sure to include the piece in the next phase of our work.. thank you Amb Dr Mlima for the suggestion and Amb Mpungwe for sharing. Amb. Begum Taj

    ReplyDelete
  32. Thanks Prof Mark for your beautiful letter to Comrade Hani. Chris Hani is an epitome patriotism and altruism, the qualities of a good leader. He stands as an example of the best leader that Africa wants. Once again, thanks Prof for this wonderful letter. It will surely remain to teach Africa always!
    Japhet Mwaya

    ReplyDelete
  33. This one Prof! Is the best! Thanks for sharing it. It is a treasure! Mola aendelee kukutunza tuzidi kupata madini muhimu kama hizi. Stay Blessed Prof!
    Assumpta Bahati Massoi

    ReplyDelete

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