In a tell-all book, the daugh­ter of slain hero Chris Hani re­veals the aw­ful af­ter­math of his mur­der and her em­pa­thy for Janusz Waluś

CityPress - - Front Page - Be­ing Chris Hani’s Daugh­ter will be avail­able in book­stores from March 27 NICKI GULES nicki.gules@city­press.co.za

In an ex­plo­sive au­to­bi­og­ra­phy to be launched this week, Lindiwe Hani has bro­ken her si­lence on meet­ing her fa­ther’s killers.

In her book, Be­ing Chris Hani’s Daugh­ter, she re­veals how Clive Derby-Lewis, who mas­ter­minded the mur­der of her strug­gle hero fa­ther in 1993, still be­lieved eight months be­fore his death that his Con­ser­va­tive Party’s con­fed­eral sys­tem – an ex­ten­sion of apartheid which they wanted to force on the coun­try – would have worked.

“We were try­ing to give ev­ery­body equal rep­re­sen­ta­tion,” he told her.

“We be­lieved that after ev­ery­thing the Afrikan­ers had done for the coun­try, they were en­ti­tled to their share of it.”

Hani, who felt nau­seous be­fore the meet­ing, was de­ter­mined not to drink any of the tea or eat any of the sand­wiches and quiche that had been pre­pared by Derby-Lewis’ wife, Gaye.

She re­veals that her mother, for­mer ANC MP Lim­pho Hani, was fu­ri­ous that she had de­cided to meet her fa­ther’s mur­der­ers, and so she was forced to plan it in se­cret.

Lim­pho was also less than thrilled that her youngest daugh­ter was writ­ing a tell-all mem­oir doc­u­ment­ing, in dra­matic de­tail, her life-and-death bat­tle with drugs and al­co­hol that be­gan at the age of 14, when she was in board­ing school.

Lindiwe de­tails how she had an abor­tion at the age of 18, how the fa­ther of her baby was killed in a car ac­ci­dent – the sec­ond ma­jor loss in her life that sent her even fur­ther down the road of drugs and booze – and how her el­der sis­ter Kh­wezi, who died from what an au­topsy re­port la­belled an “asthma at­tack”, was also ad­dicted to co­caine.

She writes frankly about how her own daugh­ter suf­fered through­out her ad­dic­tion. She also re­veals that mum Lim­pho has been es­tranged from her el­dest daugh­ter, Momo, for 10 years.

Of her meet­ing with the Der­byLe­wises at their Pretoria town­house, Lindiwe writes that she was told by an amused Gaye how she had found the ad­dress of the Hani fam­ily home, in Dawn Park in Boks­burg, “in the phone book” while work­ing on a story for her right wing news­pa­per about “Gucci so­cial­ists”, which she be­lieved the Ha­nis to be.

After Lindiwe re­minded Clive that her sis­ter, Kh­wezi, was there the day their fa­ther was mur­dered and dodged a bul­let her­self, he be­came un­com­fort­able.

“One re­grets these things. As you know, I told the Truth and Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion Com­mis­sion amnesty hear­ing, and every time I ap­plied for pa­role, that I had been try­ing to meet with your mother for years to per­son­ally ex­press my re­grets. But that never hap­pened,” he said.

“I do not feel any de­gree of sat­is­fac­tion around what hap­pened. But the cir­cum­stances in the coun­try were such that things de­vel­oped ... I don’t know if it’s any con­so­la­tion, but your fa­ther must have been quite a man be­cause of the sup­port he had from the peo­ple.

“And the fact that he was the tar­get is some kind of in­di­ca­tion of the es­teem [in which] he was held by his peo­ple. Lindi, I am re­ally sorry we have had to meet un­der these cir­cum­stances.”

Gaye, who con­tin­ued to in­sist dur­ing the meet­ing that she had noth­ing to do with the plan to kill Hani, was self-pity­ing. “We used to have money. I trav­elled the world. We had fur­ni­ture, a house, a car. We weren’t rich, but we were com­fort­able. We lost 23 years of our life.”

Lindiwe writes about how con­flicted she was after the meet­ing, how she felt guilty for be­liev­ing what Clive told her – that there was no grand con­spir­acy in­volv­ing other ANC mem­bers be­hind her fa­ther’s mur­der.

“Eight months after our visit, I hear that Clive Der­byLewis has suc­cumbed to can­cer. I feel sad for his chil­dren, who have lost a fa­ther,” she writes.

But it was Janusz Waluś, the man who pulled the trig­ger, with whom Lindiwe con­nected and felt an un­likely em­pa­thy. They met twice over lunch at Pretoria’s Kgosi Mam­puru II Prison.

“He tells us how, back in Poland, he had dif­fi­culty learn­ing as a child, blam­ing it on his own stu­pid­ity. For a mo­ment my heart goes out to the young Waluś, who grew up be­liev­ing he was lesser than; I know the feel­ing,” she writes.

To­wards the end of their first meet­ing, he told her: “First of all, I want to thank you, Lindiwe. I can­not tell you how much I have ap­pre­ci­ated meet­ing you; you are a very brave, very coura­geous woman. If it means any­thing to you, Lindiwe, I am very, very sorry for what I did to you and your fam­ily ... I am very, very sorry.”

Lindiwe writes: “He seems over­come with emo­tion. I feel the lump in my throat too.”

Dur­ing their sec­ond meet­ing, the two joked and she re­marked on Waluś’ keen sense of hu­mour. He also told her he had spo­ken to his own daugh­ter about their first meet­ing.

“She was very happy to hear I had met you. She knew it was good meet­ing, not easy – as I am sure it wasn’t for you an easy thing to meet me ... But it was good. “I was – I am – re­ally very ap­pre­cia­tive, Lindiwe.” “My heart aches a bit deeper,” she writes, adding that Waluś told her he left their first meet­ing “happy”.

“In all hon­esty, I feel a strange lit­tle glow inside. I know how weird that is, feel­ing joy be­cause my fa­ther’s killer felt a tinge of hap­pi­ness after meet­ing me,” she writes.

The book lays bare the ex­or­bi­tant per­sonal cost Lim­pho Hani and her fam­ily bore for free­dom, and well ex­plains her re­fusal to meet with her hus­band’s killers and her con­tin­ued fight against grant­ing Waluś pa­role.

Above all, Lim­pho has striven to up­hold the Hani fam­ily name – go­ing so far as to in­sist Lindiwe book her­self into re­hab un­der an as­sumed name.

“Some­times it feels like her iden­tity as Chris Hani’s widow pre­cedes the needs of her chil­dren. For as long as I can re­mem­ber, it feels as though her life’s pur­pose has been to pre­serve my fa­ther’s legacy,” Lindiwe writes.

“For 23 years, I’ve been watch­ing her live in the shroud of her loss; Lim­pho, the griev­ing wife of Chris Hani, has been her world, her mis­sion, her iden­tity.”


IN MEMORIAM Lindiwe Hani at­tends a com­mem­o­ra­tion event for her fa­ther, slain ac­tivist Chris Hani

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