News24

Author Heidi Holland found dead

2012-08-11 19:40

Johannesburg - Police say author Heidi Holland, who chronicled the rise of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, has been found dead. She was 64.

Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said a gardener found Holland's body at her home in Melville, a suburb of Johannesburg, on Saturday.

Mogale said it appeared Holland had killed herself and there were no signs of foul play or a robbery.

Holland wrote the 2008 book Dinner With Mugabe, which included her interviews with friends and family members of Zimbabwe's president. The book also includes her interviews with Mugabe, once as a freedom fighter, then later as president after years of unrest in his nation.

Holland had been published in a number of newspapers as a freelance journalist and had an occasional column with Johannesburg newspaper The Star.

She also recently published a book on the ANC's history: 100 Years of Struggle - Mandela's ANC.

Comments
  • Cecil - 2012-08-11 20:01

    What a tragedy, but seems to follow a pattern of well known personalities who have done the same in recent times. What drives them to such desperation?

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-08-11 20:52

      Really George? So, across the world people are committing suicide because of the new SA? Wow. Astonishing.

      lesley.musina - 2012-08-11 22:01

      Very pertinent question Cecil. I'm not an expert and we can't generalise or give one homogenous explanation were individuals are concerned. I think that most artists/artistes spend a lot of time entertaining, educating, researching other people but don't have that crucial \me time\. Some artists often spend copious amounts of time doing soul-searching and trying to come up with answers on how they could \save the world\. This leaves them vulnerable and susceptible to pain and betrayal. May Heidi's soul rest in peace. I'll remember her for her pedantic, thorough and esoteric style of writing. Only the good die young, Mugabe is still having more dinners.

      marc.potgieter1 - 2012-08-12 02:56

      @Lesley- Great comment.

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-08-12 04:27

      @lesley the devil is preparing uncle bob's vip suite for him

      gillian.sanderson - 2012-08-12 08:26

      Well put Lesley . . . such a shame.

      Bheki Mpofu - 2012-08-12 11:41

      Lesly,you're indeed Heidi's incarnate.Well put across.

      sandra.johnstone.56 - 2012-08-12 18:14

      Lesley, poignant comment with words of truth.

      jans.opresser - 2012-08-12 21:38

      devon......will it be next to BOTHA'S?

      tleamy - 2012-08-14 16:29

      I simply refuse to believe that this great woman committed suicide. I mean, she was such a curious person with so much more to live and give. Surely it is just an unprofessional initial assumption. Perhaps she had a stroke or H/Attack. Whatever the cause, she will be sorely missed. RIP Heidi Holland.

  • onkgopotse.mashego - 2012-08-11 20:05

    May she rest in peace! Thats rili bad

  • Bheki Mpofu - 2012-08-11 20:11

    I had great respect for Heidi Holland as she was one of the greatest erudites this country has ever seen.She had an esoteric knowledge in literature,which is being attested in the way she minced her words in her books and her columns in the star,she turned the field of literature from being dicey to a gem.Her stoicism will imbue me for as long as i live.And if ever there is life after death,i do look forward to having dinner with her......................gone too soon.Requiescant.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-08-11 20:53

      Oi vey..

      jason.simpson.714655 - 2012-08-11 21:13

      She was a rather erudite, yet stoic but never dicey if somewhat esoteric mincer. You're quite right.

      jans.opresser - 2012-08-11 23:17

      please,you must be a white person using a black avatar and name? holland was a LIAR! pure and simple. her columns were always based on white british propoganda! she never printed the truth on anything that showed her kith and kin from england in a negative lite. and she had no problem telling one lie after another in spite of all of the eyewitness accounts or physical evidence that was presented to her.in the very same in the book "dinner with mugabe" alone,she kept trying to lie by claiming mugabe had destroyed the country even after admitting that the white owned companies in zimbabwe had SABOTAGED THE ECONOMY which led to the hyper inflation at that time. heidi holland was a british liar and spin doctor. thats all I can thats good about the person she was.

      Bheki Mpofu - 2012-08-12 09:20

      Jans,thats character assassination.Just like any writer,Heidi is not immune to criticism,as,she never stated that her claims were a fait accompli.You should have engaged her motive before she passed.Now you're posting flimsy comments,and,if,you engaged her intellectually she would have ''fired you with the quickness''.

      stuart.steedman - 2012-08-12 09:46

      Only Mugabe's bootlickers believe that anyone other than him was to blame for Zim's economic collapse. People like you are the reason murderous regimes stay afloat. There's a reason why all of Africa is third-world: people like you. Well done, champ.

      squeegee.pilot - 2012-08-12 13:46

      Jason, lost on the masses...

      jans.opresser - 2012-08-12 21:18

      bheki.heidi was a liar and so are you! if you like I will even paste HER quote where she said the book on mugabe would be a eurocentric book? your black avatar proves your credibility is very low. all heidi did was print one british and euro based lie,and propoganda piece after the next.even after getting EYE WITNESS ACCOUNTS from all of the principles involved in zimbabwe. and your credibility is WORSE than hers was. her speaks for her,but you just continue to tell one lie after another,even though the BOOK HAS ALRADY BEEN WRITTEN! amazing. only a white person could lie with the reckless abandon that you show.

      jans.opresser - 2012-08-12 21:22

      @stuart.... here are the facts that was PROVEN on who destroyed the zimbabwean economy as told by your beloved HEIDI HOLLAND from her BOOK "dinner with mugabe. Sabotage by the business community which increased prices in the run-up to the elections also did not help. There are still 400 British companies based in Zimbabwe and who dominate the economy. The government can shout as much as it likes, but the companies are private and they make their own decisions – which are not always in favour of the government. By increasing prices in the weeks leading to the elections, they sent a strong message to the electorate. The government’s tendency to allow things to drift, even in the face of clear signs of sabotage, also added to its electoral woes. The government watched on, apparently unconcerned, as commercial banks allowed long queues form at counters and ATMs in the crucial weeks leading to the elections. This was a sure way of creating disaffection among voters who were forced to queue for hours to withdraw their own money. The time they spent in the queue gave them the opportunity to talk and damn the government. you were saying stuart?

  • alastair.grant.98 - 2012-08-11 20:12

    It's a hard way to make a living. And this is not a great place to grow old if you have no money. Rest in peace, Heidi.

      nompumelelo.madonda - 2012-08-11 20:19

      True, hey... RIP dear Heidi...

  • zolisa.dlokovu - 2012-08-11 20:22

    A sad story.May her soul rest in Peace

  • sylvia.moroaswi - 2012-08-11 20:33

    may her soul rest in peace an only god knows what she went through

  • lynda.pitcher.1 - 2012-08-11 20:34

    How very very sad.....RIP Heidi

  • jans.opresser - 2012-08-11 20:40

    I read her book dinner with mugabe" she tried her best to demonize and hold mugabe responsible for all of the ills of zimbabwe today,but what she ended up doing was ACQUITTING mugabe and laying ALL of the troubles in zimbawe squarely where it belongs,on the shoulders of england and tony blair and clare short. I guess she thought the white selous scouts troops that she interviewed would tow the racial lines and back Blair. one of my favourite quotes from that book was from a former selous scout oficer named Mac Mcguinnes and he said. "had the U.K held up their end of the deal at Lancaster house,zimbabwe would NOT be in the shape that it is in today" but my favourite quote was from the british international development consultant Rajan Soni who was HIRED by BRITAIN to asses the land reform issues in zimbabwe and he told Blair and Short. "It was absolutely clear from the attitude of (Clare Short’s) staff towards his recommendations that Labour’s strategy was to accelerate Mugabe’s unpopularity by failing to provide him with funding for land redistribution…They thought that if they didn’t give him money for land reform his people in the rural areas would start to turn against him. That was their position. They wanted him out, and they were going to do whatever they could to hasten his demise.” [24] R.I.P hopefully she finished her follow up that was to be titled "breakfast with ahmadinejad"

      Bheki Mpofu - 2012-08-11 21:11

      Jans.opresser. I disagree with you on the concept of Heidi acquitting Mugabe\r\nIn the very same book,there is a part where she writes about the biography of a tyrant(Mugabe).There is a quotation i would like to borrow......''he thought independence will bring prosperity to Zim,but,alas,no-one stopped him in destroying his own country and no-one can stop him from holding Zim into his own whims''.Therefore,because of this piece,i think you're being disengenous and satirical in calling Heidi pro-Mugabe.

      jans.opresser - 2012-08-11 23:02

      bheki,I never said she was "pro-mugabe! that quotation that you posted was her OPINION! mugabe did NOT destroy his own country.ZDERA(google it)along with the sanctions imposed on that country by america and england destroyed zimbabwe. they thought(again)that the sanctions would force the people to turn against mugabe. and I will give a quote from holland also as you have done to prove you wrong."what the west failed to do was to seek out help from the FLS (front line states)on zimbabwe. the west did not realize how popular mugabe was in africa and the SADC region. they did not expect the level of unity that the FLS showed for mugabe and they refudiated the west" had the west tried a different approach on zimbabwe they may have been more successful" holland also stated to mugabe that the book would be a "western book" when he asked what type of book she was writing on him. the reason being? "because thats what I am" she tried her best to demonize mugabe,but ALL of the principles involved in zimbabwe layed the blame where it belongs. you cabn disagree with me until the cows come home,but you and I both know that the cows are not coming home. who you cannot refute is rajan soni who was HIRED by BRITAIN to asses the land reform issue in zimbabwe,his results are FINAL,and are written in stone. which led to the former US ambassador to the UN andrew young to lay the blame on britain and america also. your opinion means nothing when all of the facts have been laied bare!

      devon.riley.52 - 2012-08-12 04:40

      @jan the zimbabwean economy was screwed long before any sanctions kicked in for one and another thing, the sanctions was designed to target Mugabe and some of his inner circle, not the zombabwean economy. Typical of african nations always blame the whole world but themselves for their predicament

  • george.pito - 2012-08-11 21:22

    yeh it is difficult, probably reality caught up with her.

      stuart.steedman - 2012-08-12 09:48

      Jans, I think it's adorable that you think Mugabe was anything other than a murderous, bigoted tinpoint banana-republic dictator, but right now big people are trying to talk. Why don't you go slither back to licking Mugabe's boot like a good little politically-illiterate Zim voter? There's a good chap, run along now.

      stuart.steedman - 2012-08-12 14:21

      And Jans deletes his comment ... caught out?

      jans.opresser - 2012-08-12 21:24

      stuart..... Sabotage by the business community which increased prices in the run-up to the elections also did not help. There are still 400 British companies based in Zimbabwe and who dominate the economy. The government can shout as much as it likes, but the companies are private and they make their own decisions – which are not always in favour of the government. By increasing prices in the weeks leading to the elections, they sent a strong message to the electorate. The government’s tendency to allow things to drift, even in the face of clear signs of sabotage, also added to its electoral woes. The government watched on, apparently unconcerned, as commercial banks allowed long queues form at counters and ATMs in the crucial weeks leading to the elections. This was a sure way of creating disaffection among voters who were forced to queue for hours to withdraw their own money. The time they spent in the queue gave them the opportunity to talk and damn the government. again if you missed it the first time! taken from hollands book dinner with mugabe! why dont you go back to the land of the union jack to spew your white lies and bigotry there?

      jans.opresser - 2012-08-12 21:30

      and I didnt delete any of my comments! probably one of you bigots who didnt want the readers to see the truth that HEIDI HOLLAND wrote on zimbabwe where rajan soni told blair and chort that they with held the money for land reform on purpose to try to force mugabe out of power. will post it again for you.. Well, the man Short’s department employed to investigate the Zimbabwean land issue, does not think so. Soni Rajan is an independent London-based consultant on international development who was employed by the ODA to investigate land redistribution in Zimbabwe on a number of occasions, both under the Tories and during Clare Short’s time. Rajan told Holland “It was absolutely clear from the attitude of her [Clare Short’s] staff towards my recommendations that Labour’s strategy was to accelerate Mugabe’s unpopularity by failing to provide him with funding for land redistribution. They thought if they didn’t give him the money for land reform, his people in the rural areas would start to turn against him. That was their position; they wanted him out and they were going to do whatever they could to hasten his demise" more to follow!

      jans.opresser - 2012-08-12 21:33

      Before then, to enrich our understanding of what is happening in Zimbabwe, let’s look at some issues raised by Holland in her book. She interviewed Clare Short, the former British secretary for overseas development, whose 5 November 1997 letter repudiating British colonial responsibility for funding land reform in Zimbabwe, sparked the troubles we’ve seen in that beautiful country for the past eight years. Holland reports that Clare Short tried to shift the blame, first on Peter Hain, the South African-born British minister for Africa at the time. “I think the rhetoric of the UK [on Zimbabwe] was badly handled by Hain, of all people,” Holland quotes Short as having said. “I remember being in my bedroom in Birmingham and hearing him on the radio. I thought, ‘Peter, you sound like a colonial master speaking up for white farmers’. And of course, the media here loved that.” Short went on: “One of Britain’s errors was the noisy rhetoric. We should have kept it right down, not tried to take a leading position, and we should have made sure that the neighbouring countries were absolutely clear as to how much money was on offer and how strongly the case for redistribution was supported internationally. We should have made that our rhetoric" more to come stuart!

  • talana.basson - 2012-08-11 22:22

    seriously??! a 64 year old woman killing herself??! because she was ageing???

      zimbobwe.mugabe - 2012-08-11 23:51

      Where is the husband??? Loneliness can kill!!! I stayed for a year without getting any and nearly died... eish!!!

  • farai.chimanya.71 - 2012-08-11 22:25

    She was a great lady. We will miss you. bot why?????

  • dekkeranton - 2012-08-11 23:02

    O Heidi,why? This is truly the most horrible news! Why?

  • joyce.kweyama - 2012-08-12 09:57

    MAY HER SOUL REST IN PEACE. SEEMS TO ME SHE WAS HAUNTED ABOUT WHAT SHOULD BE IN.COMPLEX POST COLONIAL POST APARTHEID COUNTRIES. POSSIBLE THAT IN INTROSPECTION SHE MAY HAVE UNFAIRLY HAVE TAKEN SIDES AND WAS FEELING GUITY. THE MOST LIKELY SITUATION IS THAT SHE WAS USED

  • price.moyo.9 - 2012-08-12 11:41

    Recently read her book, dinner with mugabe...a good read that! RIPx

  • gail.hayesbean - 2012-08-12 17:18

    Sad

  • JenniferMoller13 - 2012-08-12 22:33

    Very sad news indeed. Whatever private pain drove her to her end, I will always appreciate her public voice and her honesty as a writer. RIP.

  • alfred.neumann.142 - 2012-08-12 23:40

    Sad news indeed, but I'd probably kill myself too if I ever had to have dinner with Mugabe.

  • Harold Chisimba - 2012-08-13 09:21

    RIP HEIDI HOLLAND, DESPISE OF BEING THE FIRST TIME TO KNOW YOU.

  • varever - 2012-08-13 17:01

    Perhaps she realised the liberal project has failed, the enlightenment extinguished, all hope exhausted.

  • varena.vahuu - 2012-08-13 17:45

    Bob has done it again. He will never stop unless this is done to him.

  • tleamy - 2012-08-14 16:29

    I simply refuse to believe that this great woman committed suicide. I mean, she was such a curious person with so much more to live and give. Surely it is just an unprofessional initial assumption. Perhaps she had a stroke or H/Attack. Whatever the cause, she will be sorely missed. RIP Heidi Holland.

      Beverley Bedggood - 2013-10-14 14:33

      um..........she was found hanging !!!!!!!............do you think she had the stroke/heart attack before or after she hung herself ?????????????

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