Johannesburg – Writer and freelance journalist Heidi Holland (64), who rose to fame with her 2008 controversial biography of President Robert Mugabe, “Dinner with Mugabe” has died.
Holland’s body was found Saturday in her Melville home, a Johannesburg suburb, by her gardener. Lieutenant Colonel Katlego Mogale said it appeared that Holland had taken her own life and that there had been no signs of foul play or robbery.
Mogale said: “She was found by her gardener after she had killed herself on Saturday. At this stage when the police arrived at the residence they didn’t find anything missing or any evidence that anyone had broken into the house. No foul play is suspected and an inquest docket has been opened with the Brixton police.”
Praises continue to pour in for the freelance writer and journalist. Her family has described her as a phenomenal woman of great integrity. She is best known for her acclaimed books ‘Dinner with Mugabe’ and ‘The Colour of Murder’.
In May 2009, Holland was embroiled in a row with the leader of South Africa’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance. Holland criticized personal comments made by Helen Zille about Jacob Zuma in the article ‘A disservice to white citizens’ published by The Star on 21 May 2009.
Holland expressed that Zille’s comments reflected badly on the white South African community. On May 27, 2009, the newspaper published Zille’s reply. Zille accused Holland of a “warped logic” concerning race issues.
Holland was born in Zimbabwe on October 6, 1947, but she was now resident in South Africa. According to Holland’s account, she first met President Mugabe in 1975 soon after his release from detention.
She interviewed him 30 years later in 2007, a year before “Dinner with Mugabe” was published. Holland’s latest publication is on the African National Congress, “100 Years of Struggle Mandela’s ANC”.
Holland was a freelance journalist for a number of newspapers including, The Star and The Sunday Times. Internationally she was linked to The Telegraph, International Herald Tribune, The New York Times, and The Guardian.
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