Hartbeespoort – Murdered media personality, Hope Zinde, was strong-willed, strong-minded and very independent, her family spokesperson, Majota 'Phat Joe' Kambule, said on Sunday.
He described the former host of Good Morning South Africa (GMSA) as family, who was instrumental in getting him interested in working in media. “I remember she used to let me come visit her and watch her working at SABC,” he said.
“[She] was born long before me – well she wasn’t that much older than me, but she was definitely like an older sister to me and in many ways like my mother.”
She started her career at Channel Africa and SAfm before getting her TV break when she covered the country’s first democratic elections as a Durban correspondent.
In 1995 she travelled with former President Nelson Mandela on his first trip to Mozambique before joining GMSA for a two-year stint as an anchor and producer.
At the time of her death, Zinde was general manager of corporate affairs at the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).
Zinde was a former member of the SABC board, who, along with colleagues Rachel Kalidass and Ronnie Lubisi, was removed from her position by Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi. Zinde accused the minister of acting against them as they had not supported the appointment of Hlaudi Motsoeneng as chief operations officer of the public broadcaster.
Kambule said he's spent New Year's Even and New Year's Day with Zinde where she told him of her plans to launch an all new current affairs programme targeting women. "I was actually supposed to assist with a small role in that in helping to get that show up and running,” he said of his “big sister”.
Zinde’s son was arrested on Saturday in connection with her murder after her body was found in the boot of her Range Rover in Pecanwood. She is believed to have been dead since Monday.
This after a family friend tried unsuccessfully since Wednesday to make contact with Zinde and her son apparently refused to open the door of her home, only letting in the police, who then noticed blood marks leading from the bathroom to the garage.
Drugs were allegedly found in her son’s possession, while a 10kg weight covered in blood was also recovered from the scene.
“While the investigation into Hope's untimely passing is in progress, we ask for your support in allowing the authorities to do their work, and not speculate on the circumstances surrounding her death,” Kambule said.
“It offers us great comfort to witness how loved she was and the positive contribution she made to the lives of so many.”