He originally made his name as journalist, working for the left-wing publications Vrye Weekblad and Die Suid-Afrikaan, and in 1995 he became the editor of Loslyf, the first men's magazine in Afrikaans.
In 1994 Hattingh and Tienie du Plessis started the independent publishing house Hond,
His own writing career as novelist started with the novella Die Tonnel ("The Tunnel", Minotaurus, 1984), and would include Markus vermoed ’n verhaal, Ignatius Brand, Witskrif and Huilboek. He also wrote a number of plays (see below).
With artist Conrad Botes , he also created Die Foster-bende (2000), a graphic novel about a notorious gang active on the Witwatersrand during the early 20th century. It was published in France in 2011.
He was married with three children and the family emigrated to Auckland in New Zealand in 1997, where he worked as a cobbler and locksmith and continued to write. He died of a heart attack in New Zealand on 10 October 2017.
Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance
His first play was the sensational and award-winning Sing jy van Bomme ("If you sing about Bombs") (1986), followed by Mynhoop - 'n Nokturne ("Mine dump - a nocturne", 1994), Opdrag: Ingrid Jonker ("Commission: Ingrid Jonker", 1997) and Eensnaar (One string", 2001).
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