Government mourns deaths of four media workers in a month

2017-06-30 23:04
Suna Venter (Netwerk24)

Suna Venter (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo on Friday mourned the loss of four "dynamic" media workers, saying the industry was poorer as a result.

"The industry, and in particular journalists, should play a critical role in shaping public discourse, equipping citizens with information, and strengthening the country's democracy," she said.

The government reiterated its belief in free press and media freedom.

It said journalists should be allowed to operate without fear or intimidation, while upholding the highest degree of journalistic ethics.

“These four journalists whom we have lost, have been amongst those who embodied this spirit,” said Dlodlo.

The most recent death was that of senior SABC radio producer Suna Venter on Thursday, due to a heart condition that may have been stress-related.

Venter, 32, had recently been diagnosed with a cardiac condition known as stress cardiomyopathy or "Broken Heart Syndrome".

Read the article here: Broken Heart Syndrome kills ‘SABC 8’ journalist Suna Venter 

Over the past year, she was the victim of continued intimidation, victimisation and death threats.

She was part of a group of eight SABC journalists who were fired, and seven later reinstated, for objecting to former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng's policy of no longer airing footage of violent protests.

Veteran SABC camerawoman Zama Mbalo also passed away on Thursday, after a short illness.

The stories she covered included the Oscar Pistorius trial, Marikana and #Feesmustfall.

Earlier this month, Carte Blanche producer Johann Botha was shot dead at an inn at the Maboneng precinct in Johannesburg.

The perpetrators stole two firearms and money before fleeing.

Legendary anti-apartheid photographer Ranjith Kally died almost three weeks ago. He had been recovering from a hip injury after he slipped and fell.

Kally was best known for capturing moments of some of South Africa’s greatest liberation struggle icons and celebrities.

Dlodlo extended condolences to their loved ones.

 

Read more on:    suna venter  |  ayanda dlodlo  |  media

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