Author of the book "Dinner with Mugabe" and Journalist Heidi Holland at her Melville guest house in Johannesburg.07 Picture:Paballo Thekiso


POLICE didn’t find a suicide note at the home of author and journalist Heidi Holland but believe the 64-year-old took her own life.

Holland’s body was discovered by her gardener at her Melville home on Saturday morning.

Gauteng police spokeswoman Lieutenant-Colonel Katlego Mogale said it appeared that Holland had hanged herself in the house.

She said nothing was found to have been stolen and that police had opened an inquest docket.

“It will be up to the district surgeon to establish a time of death and how it happened,” said Mogale.

If the district surgeon suspects foul play, the police would take over the investigation, Mogale said.

Holland, a columnist for various newspapers, including the Pretoria News, is best known for her book on the life and career of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, which was published in 2008 and titled Dinner with Mugabe.

The book also includes her interviews with Mugabe, once as a freedom fighter, then later as president after years of unrest in his nation.

Yesterday on Facebook and Twitter, friends were dumbfounded that the vivacious woman known for entertaining guests in the kitchen of her B&B had killed herself.

“I never knew of her to suffer depression and I’ve known her for three decades,” wrote journalist Charlene Smith on Facebook.

The DA said yesterday she had been “a person of considerable insight into the persona of Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe. Ms Holland, author of Dinner with Mugabe, was one of the serious democratic voices of our time”.

Holland’s other books included The Colour of Murder, a South African–based book about the Van Schoor family and the murder trials its members faced and a book on the ANC titled, The Struggle: A History of the African National Congress.

Holland was working on a new book about racism.

It had a working title of I’m not racist, but…