Mourners remember 'brave' Suna Venter at memorial

2017-07-04 16:01
Suna Venter (File, Netwerk24)

Suna Venter (File, Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg – One of the SABC 8 journalists Thandeka Gqubule, said she was gutted when she heard of the untimely death of senior SABC radio producer Suna Venter. 

"I can't describe all the emotions that went through my heart at the time but the most dominant was shock," Gqubule told reporters at the Dutch Reformed Church in Fairland, Johannesburg on Tuesday afternoon. 

Gqubule said she knew that Venter was not well when she was "too tired to argue" with her when they were at their lawyer's offices. 

She said Venter was physically not well but "inside Suna was so strong". 

The 32-year-old's death was due to a heart condition that may have been stress-related.

Her body was discovered in her Johannesburg flat on Thursday morning.

Also read: Suna Venter's Boss: I Am Angry At Every SABC Employee Who Helped Motsoeneng

Gqubule described Venter as a smart woman and as someone who had a strategic mind. 

Family, friends and colleagues paid tribute to Venter at a memorial service on Thursday morning. 

The church, situated on Smit street in Fairland, was packed to near capacity with mourners, most of them dressed in black. 

Venter's sister, Tessa, said her life should be celebrated. 

"She was a wonderfully unique individual. She had the softest heart that you could ever find," an emotional Tessa told mourners.

'She was brave' 

Sekoetlane Phamodi, who worked with Venter, commended her for her bravery. 

He said Venter had a voice which she used to transform other people. 

"She was brave and with the little time I spent with her and with the little time we shared together in our work to fight for something that matters... I was truly inspired."

Venter was part of a group of eight SABC journalists who were fired - seven of whom were later reinstated - for objecting to former COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng's policy that no violent protests would be aired.

She had recently been diagnosed with a cardiac condition known as stress cardiomyopathy or "Broken Heart Syndrome", which could cause rapid and severe heart muscle weakness.

A subsequent Parliamentary Ad Hoc Committee investigation into the affairs of the SABC was lauded as a victory.

Despite this, Venter was the victim of continued intimidation, victimisation and death threats.

Over the past year, she also received threatening messages on her phone.

During the past year, she was assaulted on three separate occasions. 

She is survived by her parents, Phillip and Christa Venter, and siblings Wilhelm and Tessa.

Also read: We are all dying of a broken heart

Read more on:    sabc  |  suna venter  |  johannesburg  |  media
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