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Template:Apartheid Lennox Lagu, born Mongameli Johnson Tshali (27 April 1938 - 7 September 2011) was a commander of Umkhonto we Sizwe, the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC). He was a Major General in the SANDF. He was a fierce opponent of the apartheid government.
Hani was born on 27 April 1938 in a rural Xhosa village close to Grahamstown. His father was a chicory grower who moved away from the “reserves” going from farm to farm with his family to where there was work. Lennox’ first schooling was in Alexandria. He did his primary school staying with relatives in Port Elizabeth and continued to High School where he finished his Matric in 1959. He was the fifth of six children. He attended Lovedale school and later studied modern and classical literature at the University of Fort Hare. Hani, in an interview on the Wankie campaign, also mentioned that he was a Rhodes University graduate.
Political and military career
At age 15 Hani joined the ANC Youth League. As a student he was active in protests against the Bantu Education Act. Following his graduation, he joined Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the armed wing of the ANC. Following his arrest under the Suppression of Communism Act, he went into exile in Lesotho in 1963.
He received military training in the Soviet Union and served in campaigns in the Rhodesian Bush War in what is now Zimbabwe. They were joint operations between Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) and the Zimbabwe People's Revolutionary Army in the late 1960s.The Luthuli Detachment operation consolidated Hani's reputation as a brave soldier of the first black army to take the field against apartheid. His role as a fighter from the earliest days of MK's exile (following the arrest of Nelson Mandela and the other internal MK leaders at Rivonia) was an important part in the fierce loyalty Hani enjoyed in some quarters later as MK's commander. In 1969 he produced and signed, with six others, the 'Hani Memorandum' which was strongly critical of the leadership of Joe Modise.
In Lesotho he organised guerrilla operations of the MK in South Africa. By 1982, Hani had become prominent enough that he was the target of assassination attempts, and he eventually moved to the ANC's headquarters in Lusaka, Zambia. As head of Umkhonto we Sizwe, he was responsible for the suppression of a mutiny by dissident anti-Communist ANC members in detention camps, but denied any role in abuses including torture and murder.
Having spent time as a clandestine organiser in South Africa in the mid-1970s, he permanently returned to South Africa following the unbanning of the ANC in 1990, and took over from Joe Slovo as head of the South African Communist Party in 1991. He supported the suspension of the ANC's armed struggle in favour of negotiations.
- "Martin Thembisile (Chris) Hani". About.com. http://africanhistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa-BioChrisHani-a.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-10.
- The ‘Hani Memorandum’ – introduced and annotated by Hugh Macmillan, Transformation, 2009
- Hani, Chris (February 1991). "My Life". South African Communist Party. http://www.sacp.org.za/main.php?include=docs/biography/2006/hani.html. Retrieved 2007-04-10.