As Hani's body lay in state yesterday afternoon before a large crowd of ANC supporters in a Soweto football stadium it emerged that Mr Derby- Lewis, a former MP of South Africa's far-right Conservative Party, has a wide network of contacts with anti- Communist groups around the world. His predecessor as president of Western Goals, which has members in the United States, was the Salvadorean death squad leader Major Roberto D'Aubuisson.
Mr Derby-Lewis, a former army officer, was arrested on Saturday after the interrogation of Polish-born Janusz Walus, who the police have charged with firing the fatal shots.
Hani's embalmed face, set in an expression of peace, revealed no sign of the three bullets that had entered his skull on Holy Saturday. All yesterday afternoon at Soweto's 80,000-seat Soccer City stadium thousands filed past the half-open casket holding his body, which was dressed in military fatigues. In an incident last night that is bound to add to tension ahead of today's funeral, 15 people were killed, including three children, and 12 others injured in an attack from a car in the black township of Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg. Witnesses told police the attackers were black men, but the motive for the killings was not immediately clear.
Hani was a former chief of staff of the ANC's armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), who when he died was general secretary of the South African Communist Party and, after Nelson Mandela, the most popular figure in South Africa's black liberation movement.
By dusk yesterday 60,000 had gathered at Soccer City stadium. Most intended to remain with the Hani family, who sat under a canopy next to the coffin, for the all-night vigil.
'Your president in waiting is arriving]' bellowed the master of ceremonies when Mr Mandela approached. The crowd rose to their feet. 'ANC] ANC] ANC]' rang deafeningly around the ground. Shouts of 'Viva Nelson Mandela] Viva]' gave way to the new mantra of liberation, 'One Mandela] One president]'
It was a week of intense drama in which, indeed, Mr Mandela seemed already to have become president, such was the low profile F W de Klerk had kept. It was Mr Mandela who delivered a televised address to the nation on Tuesday night, appealing to all South Africans, black and white, to stay calm and to respond to the crisis in a spirit of reconciliation.
No member of the government was present at yesterday's ceremony and none is expected at today's. The ANC and the government may have entered into a negotiating partnership but they remain bitter political enemies. As it was, the event combined joy and grief, like an Irish wake without the alcohol. The joy evoked the last big rally in the stadium, two days after Mr Mandela was released from prison, when there was the same sense of the impending collapse of white rule.
A note of solemnity was introduced after nightfall when, in a development perhaps unprecedented to mark the death of a Communist leader, Christian minister after Christian minister took the stage. None spoke more eloquently than Fr Smangaliso Mkhatshwa, who told the crowd: 'In South Africa we were never oppressed by Communists but by people who call themselves Christians.'Reuse content