Vanessa Hani, the daughter of slain Chris Hani, left AgangSA and joined the Congress of the People (COPE) party ahead of the 2014 elections in South Africa. Hani followed her father’s political ambitions and stayed with the African National Congress (ANC) party and the South African Communist Party (SACP). During the past year, Dr. Mamphela Ramphele left the ruling ANC party and formed a new political party, AgangSA. Hani met with Ramphele and soon joined the new and exciting AgangSA party.
The ANC party accused Hani of betraying her father’s legacy. Portrayed as arrogant, bigoted and narrow-minded, Hani discussed her decision to leave the ANC with two top officials who told her to go ahead and leave. They also commented that they were disappointed with the ANC and could not leave because they would be targeted as traitors.
Hani issued a statement and said the SACP and ANC no longer had any direction. She said there was uncertainly if the SACP had a voice. Except for the leader, Blade Nzimande, she did not know what their political stance was. She was impressed with the AgangSA vision for a brighter future for all.
Recently Hani left AgangSA and joined ranks with COPE. The General Secretary of COPE, Lyndall Shope-Mafole, said that Hani is a dynamic woman and the party remained confident of her membership adding value to their movement. Mafole added that the move by Hani to COPE showed a growing appeal of the party’s innovation and their stance as a viable opposition party.
Hani said it was a difficult decision for her to leave AgangSA, but that she felt more at home within the COPE party organization. Joining COPE, she said, was like being on a ship with an experienced and qualified leader.
Commenting on the future of South Africa, Hani said it is her desire for South Africa to become a responsible democratic country, and could not see this happening under the current ANC rule. COPE, according to Hani, is a party willing and able to work with the people of South Africa, which was the deciding factor for her to move from AgangSA.
When questioned about her father’s assassination, Hani said it left a deep scar within her soul, and this had worsened over the years due to the corruption, unfairness and inequality of South Africa. She said it would be unfair for her to predict what her father’s vision for the country would be now.
The move from the ANC party to the AgangSA party and now to the COPE party by the dynamic young Vanessa Hani has shown the dedicated public voters of the ANC that it is not defecting, but rather moving forward for true democracy.
Many loyal voters continue to support the ANC and have shown uncertainty on casting their vote for any of the opposition parties. The immense fear of deserting the ruling party is due to the fact they do not know how to deal with potential victimization. The democratic step by Chris Hani’s daughter to move from a failing party and give another party a chance to prove good governance will no doubt help the undecided voters in choosing how to cast their vote.
The South Africa 2014 elections on May 7 will determine if the move by Hani from ANC to AgangSA and onto COPE will make an impact on the final results. Being the daughter of the slain Chris Hani does not label her a communist or a loyalist. She has merely exercised her democratic right to consider the most reliable and ethical party to join.
By Laura Oneale