One of the most formidable and courageous journalists in the 1970s and 1980s, Zuluboy “ZB” Molefe, passed away in his sleep on Friday afternoon.
According to his family, the 75-year-old former scribe suffered from diabetes and fell gravely ill earlier this year.
Former City Press editor Khulu Sibiya, who worked with Molefe from 1983 when he joined the newspaper, said the news came as shock to him.
“ZB was my boss and later on I was his boss, but we got along very well. In fact, I relied on him for guidance regarding a lot of things in the newsroom. We formed a formidable team with other colleagues in that era. When I heard the news of his passing, I was very shocked,” said Sibiya last night.
He was speaking from Molefe’s home.
Former City Press editor Len Kalane, who worked under Molefe as news editor, described Molefe as a formidable and courageous scribe who was an all-round journalist.
Kalane recalled a story he covered with Molefe that entailed going to a mine on the West Rand after an explosion killed four black people. They had to wait at the gate for permission to enter the premises, but, by the time the mine bosses had responded and declined permission, Molefe had got his story from the security guards nearby.
Another veteran journalist who was also close to Molefe, Sekola Sello, described Molefe as a lover of books, jazz and the arts in general, and said that Molefe possessed qualities that made him stand out among his fellow scribes in the newsroom.
Besides being an all-rounder and a brilliant writer, Molefe was a master with words, and he went on to write A Common Hunger to Sing with Mike Mzileni.
Speaking about her late father, Nompumelelo, said he was a loving man who taught her and her sister to work hard for everything they wanted.
“He was my best friend and if there’s one lesson that he taught me, it is that nothing is free. He wouldn’t give you anything for free – you worked for it and that is a valuable lesson,” she said.
He is survived by his wife, Sylvia, and two daughters, Nompumelelo and Nonkululeko.
The funeral service will be held on Friday at Protea South Community Hall in Soweto and he will be buried at Westpark Cemetery. – Lesetja Malope