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SANEF mourns the death of Daily Dispatch journalist, Mkhuseli Sizani

SANEF mourns the death of Daily Dispatch journalist, Mkhuseli Sizani

15 September 2023


“I want to be out there, telling the stories of our people”. These are the words of Mkhuseli Sizani, in a conversation with Cheri-Ann James at the time he joined the Daily Dispatch.

Sizani, a former Daily Sun and GroundUp journalist died this week, aged 42.

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) sends condolences to the Sizani family, friends, and colleagues on the passing of Sizani.

James, the editor of the Daily Dispatch, said: “When Mkhuseli joined our newsroom, his first words to me were: ‘I want to be out there, telling the stories of our people’.  He had already made a name for himself, not only in journalistic circles but in many communities in the Eastern Cape, as a journalist who used the power of the word to help bring positive change to residents who had been neglected and ignored by authorities.

“Mkhuseli was determined to put the voice of those who had long been silenced front and centre; a principle he instilled in our young interns, who he took under his wing as a mentor.

At the time he was Gqeberha bureau chief for the Eastern Cape at the Daily Sun, Sizani was passionate about telling untold stories, helping young reporters, and always putting his work as a journalist above anything else.

Yanga Soji, a former colleague at the Daily Sun, said: “Mkhuseli was a rare breed in journalism. He could work in any community and tell the best stories about the people there. He loved being out on the field and was never in the office.

“I was blessed to work with him for some years as part of the Daily Sun’s Eastern Cape Bureau Chiefs. He was dedicated, attentive, and professional and was a great mentor. He loved journalism and was fearless. His passing is a devastating loss to the Eastern Cape and to the journalism community as a whole. Rest in Peace Thangana.”

Nahima Ahmed, a former news editor at the Daily Sun who worked closely with Sizani, said: “Mkhuseli was a remarkable journalist whose passion and dedication left an indelible mark on everyone fortunate enough to work alongside him.

“I can still recall the moments when he would call me and say, “I have your tomorrow’s front page ready.” And he never disappointed – his stories, complete with captivating pictures. He was an ace journalist, a storyteller whose talent transcended the ordinary. Desk journalism held no allure for him – instead, he roamed the streets, chasing one significant story after another, day, and night.

“Yet beneath his unwavering commitment to the craft, Mkhuseli was a calm and respectful soul.  His role as a mentor to young journalists in EC was a testament to his generosity and commitment to nurturing the next generation of storytellers.

“His departure is a devastating blow, a big loss for the industry. He may be gone, but his spirit lives on in the stories he told and the lives he touched.”

James concluded: “We have lost a passionate and fine journalist who still had so much to give. We have been fortunate as a team to have had an opportunity to work alongside Mkhuseli and to learn from him. We pray for his family during this difficult time.”


Note to Editors:

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is a non-profit organisation whose members are editors, senior journalists, and journalism trainers from all areas of South African media. We are committed to championing South Africa’s hard-won freedom of expression and promoting quality, ethics, and diversity in the South African media. We promote excellence in journalism through fighting for media freedom, writing policy submissions, research, and education and training programmes. SANEF is not a union.

For more information please contact:

Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Chairperson (073) 404-1415

Nwabisa Makunga – SANEF Deputy Chairperson (082) 555-1972

Tshamano Makhadi – Treasurer-General (082) 223 0621

Makhudu Sefara – SANEF Media Freedom Chair (079) 177-2134

Judy Sandison – SANEF KZN Convenor (082) 571-3334

Dr. Glenda Daniels – SANEF Gauteng Convenor (083) 229-9708

Rochelle De Kock – SANEF Eastern Cape Convenor (072) 969-8028

Reggy Moalusi – SANEF Executive Director (071) 682-3695

Twitter: @SAEditorsForum

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.sanef.org.za