Why forgive people who don’t admit they were wrong – Hani’s daughter talks about apartheid

Lindiwe Hani addresses the crowd during the commemoration of her father's death in Ekurhuleni. Image: PENWELL DLAMINI
Lindiwe Hani addresses the crowd during the commemoration of her father's death in Ekurhuleni. Image: PENWELL DLAMINI

Lindiwe Hani‚ the daughter of the late SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani‚ says she cannot get over apartheid because those who were behind it have never apologised for the wrong that they did.

Speaking at an event in Ekurhuleni commemorating the anniversary of her father’s death‚ Hani said there were many calls for today’s youth to simply forget about apartheid and move on.

“We are told every day how we need to get over it [apartheid]. As I stand a few feet from my father’s grave I am very clear that I will never get over it. To those people saying that we should get over it‚ I think they need to exercise a whole lot of empathy‚ sensitivity and…acknowledge what we went through.

“Moreover‚ they should never get over it. It was the darkest time of this country and the healing and working through it should be a collective effort and not just one for the privileged…It is our collective painful history. We must own it‚ embrace it and work through it. I think forgiveness and reconciliation was put upon us before we were ready. I am yet to recollect the apartheid government as a whole apologising for those atrocities. I find it difficult to forgive something that even the perpetrators have not even acknowledged‚” Hani said.

The event is the 25th anniversary of the assassination of Chris Hani. He was killed on April 10 1993. At the time he was the general secretary of the SACP and a member of the national executive committee of the ANC.

Hani had led the joint SACP and ANC military wing‚ uMkhonto weSizwe with outstanding dedication as its chief of staff and in various capacities going back to the 1960s in the course of the struggle against apartheid.

X