Hani’s daughter vs stepmom

2013-04-28 14:00

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Acrimonious feud is splitting the slain SA Communist Party leader’s family down the middle

Slain SA Communist Party leader Chris Hani’s eldest daughter is at war with her stepmother, Hani’s widow, over his legacy.

Cleopatra Tunyiswa Hani says Limpho Hani deliberately sidelines Hani’s children from other relationships.

She’s accused her stepmother of colluding with Chris Hani District mayor Mxolisi Koyo to “steal” an idea she had for commemorating the 20th anniversary of her father’s death.

In an interview in East London just hours before President Jacob Zuma delivered the yearly Chris Hani Memorial Lecture in Queenstown, Tunyiswa said she presented the idea to Koyo, who took it immediately to Limpho Hani.

Koyo said he did not want to be dragged into family feuds.

“I am a mayor of a district municipality. If she says as a businessperson her idea was stolen there are routes she can follow to raise her issues,” he said, declining to comment further.

Tunyiswa slammed her stepmother, calling her “heartless”.

“All she cares about is 10 April, the day of my father’s death, so she can go to the grave, smile for the cameras and become famous.

“If she ever loved my father she would not do what she is doing – colluding with ANC leaders to sideline us.”

Limpho Hani, who attended the memorial lecture, declined to comment on Tunyiswa’s allegations, saying: “I don’t speak to City Press.”

Tunyiswa claimed her stepmother had visited Hani’s home village, Sabalele, only recently and had not organised the ceremony to repatriate Hani’s spirit or remains to his home.

Hani, who was murdered by right-wing extremist Clive Derby-Lewis in 1993, is buried in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni.

“Culturally, in belief of traditions and customs, my father needs to be repatriated back home. When is this woman [Limpho] going to take that seriously?

“She can do all she wants, but she can never change the fact that Chris Hani is my father.

“She has always wanted to portray this look of a grieving widow. She never even grieved my father’s death. She is selfish.”

She said her mother, whom she did not want to name, had been in a relationship with Chris Hani before Limpho came into the picture.

“Chris Hani’s life did not start in 1980 when he married Limpho. He had a life before that, he had children. But now my stepmother wants to wipe our names out of history.”

Tunyiswa said she was Hani’s first-born, followed by Vanessa, the late Nomakhwezi, and Lindiwe.

She and Vanessa were born from Hani’s relationships before he married Limpho.

“Me and Vanessa will always be our father’s daughters. We are very close, we talk every day. I don’t have a good relationship with my younger sister, Lindiw . . . I guess she is her mother’s (Limpho) daughter,” she said.

Vanessa could not be reached for comment.

But she didn’t dismiss the possibility of mending their broken relationship.

Tunyiswa said she did not hate Limpho and would be happy if the older woman reached out to her “as a mother”.

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