Family devastated after death of SA journalist in Cairo, cause still unknown

The sister of a Johannesburg journalist, who died while attending a training course in Egypt, says her family has been left devastated that she was so far away from home in her final hours.

Yadhana Jadoo, a news editor at The Citizen, died on Wednesday morning while at an event arranged by the Union of African Journalists.

An autopsy is yet to be conducted to determine her cause of death.

Jadoo's younger sister, Vedharshi, said the family was going through a "horrific" time, tortured by the fact that she was not surrounded by them when she died.

Jadoo is believed to have felt sick on Tuesday night and had informed a roommate before going to bed, according to aprokoworld.com.

Ankah Gertrude Abra, of Ghana, told the publication Jadoo felt "terribly hot" the next morning and the event coordinator phoned for an ambulance to take her to hospital.

The journalist said Jadoo was rushed to the intensive care unit. Doctors soon confirmed she had died.

Yadhana Jadoo, a news editor at The Citizen, died while at an event arranged by the Union of African Journalists.

Jadoo, 34, had been excited to visit Egypt, especially looking forward to seeing the pyramids, Vedharshi said.

"I was with her the day she left. She looked absolutely fine.

"She was in perfect health and suffered no ailments."

Hours after Jadoo's death, the family was informed by other course participants, leaving them "completely devastated".

Jadoo, originally from Pietermaritzburg, previously worked at the South African Press Association and The Post.

Among those shocked by her death was former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, whom Jadoo had previously interviewed.

"Thuli was her idol," Vedharshi said.

The Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt's press and information office said Jadoo's death left it with "shock and sadness."

"Yadhana had always been a great friend. [We are] in direct contact with her family, The Citizen, the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Egypt and the officials of the Union of African Journalists, to assist in this regard."

Tributes over the past two days flooded the Facebook wall of the popular journalist, known for her friendliness and love of her job.

'Kind, loyal and funny'

"Yadhs was the most amazing friend a girl could have. She was kind, loyal and just so so funny," her friend of 10 years, Maria Pillay, said.

"She was always in my corner. All our conversations ended with hysterical laughter. Her passing has left such a void."

Vedharshi said her sister was one of the bravest people she knew.

"She never backed down from a challenge. She was fair, honest, loving, caring… No matter the situation, she would always find the silver lining."

Vedharshi said Yadhana's body is expected to return to South Africa in about a week.

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