Murder Most Horrible

Searchlight South Africa

(The following editorial statement appears in the latest issue of Searchlight South Africa issue 10; April 1993), an independent Marxist journal of South African studies, published in London and edited by Baruch Hirson and Paul Trewhala. This journal has previously published extensive material on the events in the ANC camps surrounding the 1984 mutiny (issue 5; July 1990).

AS THIS ISSUE was being prepared for the printer, a news flash announced the murder of Chris Hani. This was an act of terror which we abominate. Throughout our existence, the editors of SearchIight South Africa have condemned as contemptible the assassination of leading resistance politicians in South Africa. Despite our opposition to their politics we do not stay silent when their lives are threatened. The threats and the killing must stop.

Nonetheless, we will not retract our criticisms of Hani. The subject matter with which we deal goes far beyond the fate of the man. The whole future of South Africa depends on the righting of the many wrongs of the past two decades, in the camps of the ANC and the PAC, and on the part of the state.

Mr. de Klerk has wept crocodile tears over the murder, yet the blame for the terrible deeds that are tearing South Africa apart must be laid first at the doors of the state murder machine, of which he was an integral part Clues must be sought for links between the murder (or murderers) and Military Intelligence, the real organizer of death in South Africa, which must be completely broken up.

The ANC was quick to speak in its statements about the disinformation spread about Mr. Hani during the past month. This was justified, but also hypocritical coming from the organization that will not disclose who was behind the killings at Quadro, as described in our analysis of the inquiries into the events of 1984. One of the outcomes of Mr. Hani’s tragic killing is the curtain it will draw on his role in suppressing the mutiny. Death was final for the man, but it does not end the need to disclose what happened at Quadro.

Finally, without yet knowing whether the man who has been arrested is guilty, we must note that South Africa has been actively encouraging the migration of persons from the former Soviet bloc. We do not have words enough to condemn those states that once claimed to be communist, for having reared hundreds and thousands of men who have turned out to be skinheads, fascists, and now, believers in “ethnic cleansing.” It is from such elements, together with racists from former Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Mozambique, that the South African state sought the personnel to back their claim to white supremacy. It is with regret that we must say:

As the assassins sowed, so shall the people of South Africa reap.

July-August 1993, ATC 45