Liv­ing in Chris Hani’s shadow

CityPress - - News - GARRETH VAN NIEKERK garreth.van­niek­erk@city­press.co.za

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.

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