Sanef mourns as journalists succumb to Covid-19

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  • The SA National Editors' Forum pays tribute to journalists who recently died due to Covid-19 complications.
  • The organisation says it is saddened by Covid-19-related deaths in the media industry.
  • It has sent condolences to the journalists' families and colleagues.

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) has paid tribute to four journalists who recently died as a result of Covid-19 complications.

They are former SABC football analyst Coudjoe Amankwaa, Business Report journalist Sandile Mchunu, former Daily Sun journalist Sonqoba Kunene and Khopotso Bodibe, a former producer at SAFM and later at Health-e News.

"Sanef is saddened that the deadly Covid-19 pandemic continues to claim more journalists' lives. We are mourning the death of four specialist colleagues who excelled in their craft," the organisation said in a statement.

They conveyed their condolences to the journalists' families and to the media fraternity.

"They will live on in the hearts of those they touched, for nothing loved is ever lost. Their zest for life will be missed. May their dear souls rest in eternal peace."

Mchunu died over the weekend after experiencing chest pains and difficulty breathing. For days, he couldn't get access to a doctor and when he finally managed to, he was immediately admitted to hospital, Sanef said.

Mchunu's colleagues described him as a young, reliable, and totally dependable company reporter.

READ | US condemns 'harassment' of foreign journalists in China

Kunene died last Sunday after a week in hospital. He worked at Daily Sun for more than a decade, reporting on news and politics. He also contributed articles to the Sedibeng Ster in the Vaal.

At the time of his death, he was working in the communications department of the Emfuleni municipality.

Amankwaa died after experiencing cardiac arrest last week, according to South African Football Association stakeholder relations director, Dominic Chimhavi.

Born in Ghana, Amankwaa was a naturalised South African at the time of his death.

He was rushed to Mediclinic Sandton when he didn't wake up for supper and upon arrival at the hospital, he was declared dead," Chimhavi said via WhatsApp on Friday night.

At the time of his death, Bodibe was the regional programmes unit media and communications specialist for Sisonke Gender Justice. 

"Many journalists will remember him when he was a producer on SAFM and later Health-E news. He continued finding and reporting on health-related stories and address mental illness, among other challenging topics weekly on Channel Africa on Tuesdays. He produced his groundbreaking...Living with HIV package, which was broadcast in more than one language on SABC radio stations and community radio," Sanef said.

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