Right wing feared Hani would be president

Issue 

Right wing feared Hani would be president

By Norm Dixon

South African Communist Party general secretary Chris Hani, assassinated on April 10, was targeted because the right wing believed he was Nelson Mandela's most likely successor, South Africa's progressive weekly New Nation has revealed.

Hani's assassins feared that if he succeeded Mandela as president of African National Congress, he would eventually become South Africa's president.

One of the accused being held by police, senior Conservative Party leader Clive Derby-Lewis, told police sources that the Hani assassination was discussed in December and a decision taken that he be murdered over Easter.

Police sources told New Nation that Derby-Lewis said Hani was top of their hit list because of his popularity and that he was South Africa's most likely president after Mandela, if Mandela decided to step down. The right wing took particular exception to Hani because he was a communist.

The three accused in the Hani murder — Clive and Gaye Derby-Lewis and Janusz Walus — reportedly told police that they were the only ones who attended the December meeting to plan the killing. Police appear to have accepted this claim.

ANC officials, however, say that, in all probability, more people attended the meeting at the Derby-Lewis home in Krugersdorp. They believe the three may be protecting senior Conservative Party leaders.

The three are due to appear in the Rand Supreme Court on June 23.