Lindiwe Hani , the youngest daughter of liberation leader Chris  Hani. Picture: DANIEL BORN/THE TIMES
Lindiwe Hani , the youngest daughter of liberation leader Chris Hani. Picture: DANIEL BORN/THE TIMES

Lindiwe Hani has penned a memoir on how the assassination of her struggle icon father sent her on a downward spiral into cocaine and alcohol addiction.

Being Chris Hani’s Daughter‚ co-written with journalist Melinda Ferguson‚ promises to lay bare some of the skeletons in the Hani family.

Chris Hani‚ leader of the SACP‚ was shot dead in his driveway in the suburb of Dawn Park‚ Boksburg‚ in April 1993. His murder pushed the country to the precipice of civil war‚ prompting Nelson Mandela to make an urgent nationwide appeal for calm.

Lindiwe Hani was 12 years old at the time. The burden of being his daughter later proved too difficult to bear.

"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‚" she says in the book‚ which is expected to be released in about March 2017.

"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." Described as an "intimate and brutally honest memoir"‚ the book included 35-year-old Hani remembering the years that she shared with her father and the toll that his death took on the family.

Chris Hani’s family previously refused to meet his killer‚ Janusz Walus‚ in prison. But the Sunday Times reported earlier this year that Lindiwe had requested to meet him as part of a "victim-offender dialogue".

Hani turned her life around to face her demons‚ "not just those that haunted her through her addiction but‚ with the courage that comes with sobriety‚ she comes face to face with her father’s two killers"‚ said MF Books in a statement on Tuesday.

"The book reveals the exclusive meetings she had with both Clive Derby-Lewis before he succumbed to cancer in November 2016‚ and her father’s killer Janusz Walus‚ still serving a life sentence for her father’s assassination on April 10 1993." Hani works in marketing and communications.

TMG Digital

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