Gilbert Hani and Jacob Mpemba,prominent ANC [African National Congress] leaders and strong opponents of Kaizer Matanzima and the Bantustan policy, were banished from Langa location in Cape Town, [Western Province, now Western Cape] on 23 October 1962.

Hani, a ‘slight, bespectacled man,’ was the father of well known ANC, South African Communist Party and MK [uMkhonto we Sizwe] leader Chris Hani, who was slain in 1993 by right-wing militants.  Gilbert Hani had eight years of formal missionary schooling.  He became a migrant labourer in Cape Town to provide Chris Hani with a decent education.  He ‘earned a scant 16 shillings per week as a migrant construction worker and, later, as a hawker plying an illegal trade, but this meant that he had to live far away, in a hostel at 79 Special Quarters, Langa, Cape Town.

Hani was chairperson of the Langa Residents Association, and spent over two weeks in detention and solitary confinement accused of killing a policeman.  He was hated by Matanzima because of his opposition to Bantustans.  He was banished because he was a member of the ANC and since 1959 had acted as a speaker of the ANC at meetings.

In these meetings, it was stated, there was agitation against passbooks for women, the cost of rents for accommodation, laws affecting African people and denunciation of Matanzima’s betrayal, betterment and BA [Bantu Administration].  Hani was banished to the area from which he originally hailed, Location No. 46, Lower Sabalele, St. Marks, [Eastern Province, now Eastern Cape]. 

Hani escaped to Basutoland [now Lesotho].  Here, he lived with Elizabeth Mafikeng in Mafeteng, Lesotho and ran a small shop.

His order was withdrawn on 21 September 1967.  In the early 1990s, prior to his death, Hani lived in a small homestead in Sabalele [Eastern Province, now Eastern Cape]. 

• Contribution by Professor S. Badat, Rhodes University, 2012. From the book, Forgotten People - Political Banishment under Apartheid by Professor S. Badat

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