Aranes fought, taught

2015-09-15 06:00
Joseph “Joe” Aranes, a journalist, former member of MK and former provincial secretary of the UDF would have celebrated his 52nd birthday yesterday.

Joseph “Joe” Aranes, a journalist, former member of MK and former provincial secretary of the UDF would have celebrated his 52nd birthday yesterday.

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The Western Cape and the media world are in mourning for a major catalyst in its rich legacy against apartheid, Joseph “Joe” Aranes.

For many he will be known for his role as a journalist but the inspiration for choosing this career was born out of his commitment to fight for freedom while a high school pupil on the streets of his suburb.

On Saturday he was laid to rest from the Catholic church in Bonteheuwel after dying from a heart attack in his Lansdowne home on Thursday 3 September.

It was Joe who started the legendary Friday afternoon sundowners in Newspaper House that never closed its doors for any “visitors or friends”.

Joe’s life is an inspiration and motivation not only to youth from this area but to youth in all areas.

In the 1970s and 1980s the youth took up the fight for freedom from apartheid: Joe’s life should be an inspiration for them to take up that fight against the forces that are destroying their lives in the new South Africa.

Joe, 51, grew up in Bonteheuwel with a brother and six sisters with his youth dedicated to fighting for freedom.

Involved with student political activities at high school he left the country, going to family in Germany for two years.

During this period he became a member of the then-banned ANC and was active in the anti-apartheid movement.

When he eventually returned it was in Bonteheuwel that his activism saw him working with organisations like the Bonteheuwel Civic Association. He later established the Bonteheuwel advice office while being part of MK in the area.

When the United Democratic Front launched he became its provincial secretary in the Western Cape. His activism always placed him under the attention of the authorities and saw him in detention twice.

When transition to the new South Africa started he began his journey into journalism, starting at The Argus as an intern in 1992, a stint at an independent newspaper and going back there in 1994, eventually rising to the rank of assistant news editor, news editor and political editor in 2003.

In 2005 his alleged involvement in a still unresolved controversy surrounding the then-ruling ANC’s involvement in pay-offs to newspapers led to first his removal as political editor and later his departure from The Argus. But it did not detract from the important role he played as a mentor to many young reporters during his time there.

Rest in peace, Joe, you have left a legacy of inspiration and motivation to a new generation of journalists in your lifetime.

He is survived by his wife, Kathy, daughter, Thandi, and grandson, Raoul.

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