The fate of the Chris Hani House Museum, meant to honour the legacy of anti-apartheid icon Chris Hani, seems to be hanging in the balance. Seven years have passed since the former Mayor of Ekurhuleni, Mzwandile Masina, announced plans to transform Hani’s former residence in Dawn Park into a museum and heritage site.
Initial efforts to convert the house into a museum commenced several years ago. However, recent information suggests that the project has encountered obstacles, leaving the facility in limbo as the municipal authorities contemplate the next steps.
The Chris Hani House Museum keys were officially handed over to the city in November 2016. At the time, Mayor Masina indicated that the house would substantially change to honour Chris Hani’s life and legacy properly. The budget for the property’s transformation into a museum was approximately R300,000.
Despite setting multiple timelines for the museum’s completion and public opening, the city has yet to achieve these goals. Metro spokesperson Zweli Dlamini confirmed that the museum remains closed. However, he did not explain the reasons for the delay or potential reopening plans.
The museum’s presentation quality has also come under scrutiny. Chris Hani’s widow, Limpho, expressed disappointment with the portrayal of her late husband’s life within the museum. Speaking at the 30th-anniversary commemoration of Hani’s death, she called for greater professionalism in curating her husband’s story.
While efforts to secure a tour of the facility have been unsuccessful, reports indicate that the museum currently features photos and art exhibits on its walls and some floor drawings. There is also a boundary of the spot where Hani was tragically shot and killed on April 10, 1993.
The Chris Hani House Museum forms part of a larger project that includes the construction of a monument and a liberation trail for Chris Hani at the Thomas Nkobi Cemetery. The house, previously privately owned, was purchased by the city to preserve history and heritage. The intention was to transform it into a museum to educate visitors about Chris Hani’s life and the era in which he lived.
The delays and concerns surrounding the museum’s presentation underscore the challenges of preserving and honouring historical legacies while maintaining accuracy and professionalism in their portrayal.
Picture: X / City_Ekurhuleni
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