Death of journalist still a mystery

2019-05-29 06:02
Junior Bonase

Junior Bonase

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The death of journalist Junior Bonase (41) has sent a wave of shock in the Free State.

Bonase worked for a local publication, Dume­lang News, for a long time.

Col. Thandi Mbambo, provincial police spokesperson, said investigation continues into circumstances leading to his death.

She said a case of culpable homicide has been registered for further investigation.

Mbambo said the police were continuing to conduct a post-mortem enquiry as part of the investigation into the death of the journalist.

She said the result of the autopsy conducted on Thursday (23/05) into the death of Bonase was inconclusive.

“A post-mortem will determine the exact cause of death. Other samples have been referred for forensic tests,” said Mbambo.

According to the police, Bonase’s body was found next to the N1 near Heuningspruit outside of Kroonstad on 21 May at about 23:00.

Mbambo said a passerby discovered the journalist’s body with severe injuries to the face.

“Preliminary investigation revealed that the deceased was on the way to Parys for a follow-up story,” said Mbambo.

Messages of condolences and sympathy have been expressed over Bonase’s shocking death.

Lt. Gen. Moeketsi Sempe, the provincial commissioner of the police, said: “We have good relations with journalists in the Free State as they support our initiatives in the fight against crime.

“We are saddened by the loss of such an energetic, committed journalist, and will work tirelessly to uncover the cause of his death,” he said.

Fellow media practitioners expressed shock about the news of Bonase.

“I’m deeply saddened by the news of Junior Bonase’s passing.

“He was a brave and perceptive and clever man, a good journalist, with a wealth of experience. May his soul rest in peace,” said Sidwell Guduka, editor of The Mail.

Bonase was born and bred in Springfontein.

He won a regional Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award in 2015 in the online category.

He had a great passion to work in the tough media industry.

Two weeks ago Bonase was elected as the chairperson of Free State Media Cooperative Ltd, a registered co-operative focusing on empowering and developing small print media in the province.

Announcing his election on his Facebook page, Bonase expressed his joy.

“Thank you fellow black media entrepreneurs. My election to this position is nothing but a continuation of the struggle to transform this sector, radically so,” he wrote.

Funeral arrangements is yet to be announced.

Anyone with information to help solve the death of Bonase is requested to call Det. Sgt Lebohang Dunster on 082-466-6819 or call the Crime Stop toll free number on 08600-10111.

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