Chris Hani Road
Formerly North Coast Road
Chris Hani was born on 28 June 1942 into a family in Cofimvaba, in the former Transkei, the fifth of six children. At the age of eight he was an altar boy in the Roman Catholic Church and was quite devout. He wanted to become a priest, but his father discouraged him. In 1959, Hani enrolled at the University of Fort Hare, where he became involved in the struggle and was exposed to Marxist ideas. His Catholic background attracted him to the study of Latin and English Literature. In his autobiography of 1991, he wrote: “My studies of literature further strengthened my hatred of all forms of oppression, persecution and obscurantism.”
The treason trial of 1956 prompted him to enter the struggle. And in 1957, at the age of 15, he joined the ANC Youth League. In 1961 Hani joined the underground South African Communist Party (SACP), and the following year, he became a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), the military wing of the ANC. Three abortive assassination attempts were made on his life. In 1967, Hani fought with the Zapra forces in the then Rhodesia. He returned to South Africa in 1974 to build the underground structures. He again left South Africa for Lesotho, where he worked to reinforce and expand MK’s underground activities.
In 1983, he fought against Jonas Savimbi’s Unita, helping to oust Unita from the Angolan province of Malanje. By 1987 Hani had become chief of staff of MK, which was intensifying its struggle against the South African government. He returned to the country in 1990 and was later elected secretary general of the SACP. He was assasinated in the driveway of his Boksburg home on 10 April 1993.
Dr Yusuf Mohamed Dadoo StreetFormerly Grey and Broad Streets
Dr Yusuf Dadoo was born on 5 September 1909, in Krugersdorp, the son of a businessman who had arrived in South Africa as a teen from the city of Surat, in India. As a six-year-old, Dadoo Jnr had to travel some distance daily by train to Fordsburg to attend school with other Indian children. In 1929, he left for London to study medicine, subsequently moving to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
There, he read Marxist literature which shaped his understanding of the nature of colonialism and capitalism. He also took part in political activities there. After his return to South Africa in 1936 he became involved in the Indian National Congress and the South African Communist Party, and immersed himself in passive resistance and anti-pass law politics. In 1947 he was a co-signatory of the historic Xuma-Naicker-Dadoo pact, marking a significant development in the co-operation between the African and Indian people.
The “Doctors’ Pact”, as it was known, demanded full franchise and the removal of discriminatory legislation. In 1950, Dadoo was elected president of the South African Indian Congress in recognition of his contribution to the struggle. In many ways, he was a symbol of internationalism, and of the oppressed. In his political life he was able to draw wide sections of oppressed blacks and democratic whites into the struggle. He died on 19 September 1983.