Living in Chris Hani’s shadow
The hidden truth behind Chris Hani’s assassination on April 10 1993 will soon be revealed (along with heaps of other Hani family skeletons) in a tell-all memoir by Hani’s 35-year-old daughter, Lindiwe Hani, called Being Chris Hani’s Daughter. The book, being released early next year, will partly recount details of private meetings Lindiwe held with the two men responsible for ending her father’s life.
After years of ignoring requests to meet with her, Lindiwe sat face to face with both Clive Derby-Lewis (who died from cancer in November this year) and her father’s killer, Janusz Waluś (who is still serving a life sentence for the murder). This was just the tip of the iceberg in the revealing memoir, she claimed.
She co-wrote and published the book with journalist Melinda Ferguson’s MF Books.
Lindiwe also reveals her own little-known story of lifelong alcohol and cocaine addiction.
Lindiwe, a mother of one daughter, says being Hani’s daughter has never been easy. She has had to constantly live in the shadow of her father, whom she describes as “her hero”, and the toll that his death took on the Hani family when she was only 12 years old, which changed the course of her life.
“For as long as I can remember, I’d grown up feeling that I was the daughter of Chris Hani and that I was useless. My father was such a huge figure, such an icon to so many people, it felt like I could never be anything close to what he achieved – so why even try? Of course my addiction to booze and cocaine just made me feel my worthlessness even more,” she says in the book.
There has been no shortage of public scandal in the Hani household since the assassination, with family members regularly in the headlines while fighting for their share of the Hani name.
It is unknown how much of this is included in Lindiwe’s book, but the family has had to deal with Hani’s previous relationships and children. In 2013, Tunyiswa Hani accused Chris Hani’s widow, Limpho, of deliberately sidelining Hani’s children from previous relationships. On News24, she called her “heartless”, saying “all she cares about is April 10, the day of my father’s death, so she can go to the grave, smile for the cameras and become famous”.
Tunyiswa had claimed that she was Hani’s first-born, followed by Vanessa (both born before Hani married Limpho), then the late Nomakhwezi, and then Lindiwe – the youngest of the Hani children.
However, at last year’s unveiling of the Chris Hani Memorial and Walk of Remembrance Monument, Limpho Hani said in a speech that a private investigator she hired had found proof that Tunyiswa and Vanessa were not, in fact, Hani’s children at all. Vanessa, she said, was actually a Mozambican national who acquired her South African ID fraudulently.
The blurb in the book says that, in the end, after searching for the truth behind her father’s assassination, “Lindiwe Hani ultimately makes peace with herself and honours her father’s gigantic spirit”.
You’ll need to get the book to know the truth behind the Hani family scandals.