The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is deeply saddened to learn of the death of legendary sports editor, S’busiso Mseleku on Monday night.
According to family spokesperson Vincent Magwenya, Mseleku died aged 59 in Midvaal Private Hospital in Vereeniging from a short COVID-19-related illness.
Mseleku’s distinguished journalism career spans an incredible 33 years. He had recently started his online company S’busiso Mseleku Sports also using the Facebook platform.
His former colleague City Press football writer Timothy Molobi‚ currently the editorial manager for news and sports‚ described Mseleku as, “The one who put City Press on the map for football”.
“I’m still shocked by the passing of one of the best storytellers in the country. Personally, I learnt a lot from him as he took me under his wing when I started working with him at City Press. He taught me the values of journalism. He was a good mentor and motivator. Sports journalism, in particular, is lost without him.”
“Condolences to the Mseleku family, especially his wife and children and friends. May his soul rest in peace,” Molobi said.
Filmmaker, producer and creator of popular SABC soapie Muvhango, Duma Ndlovu‚ who was also a close friend took to social media announcing Mseleku’s passing. He wrote: “Last night I lost a dear friend, a brother and cousin, Sbu Mseleku. The veteran sports journalist succumbed to COVID -19 around 9 pm last night and his family is still trying to come to terms with his passing.”
Ndlovu said South Africa had lost another giant to the Coronavirus as S’bu’s life and work spoke for itself. He said, “I think for me the message is that we as a country should take the Coronavirus very seriously‚ and observe all the protocols‚ because we should not be losing figures such as S’bu to this disease”.
SANEF extends its deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
A True Sports Legend Has Rested
By Dominic Chimhavi
I first met Sbusiso Mseleku in 1995 at the Sowetan when it was still operating from the Industria area. He was already a senior sports reporter and I had just joined from the now-defunct New Nation.
He left Sowetan in 1998 to become the Sports Editor of the Drum but we were to unite again at City Press later on.
When he left the Drum, he formed his own Lumumba Sports company which was feeding several media outlets with football information.
In 2001, he joined City Press as the Deputy Sports Editor.
Together with me as the Sports Editor, Pule Mokhine, Sifiso Cele, Daniel Mothowagae and Linda Rulashe we formed a ‘deadly combination’ in making the Sunday newspaper the true gospel of South African sports with a considerable bias on football.
Because of Sbu’s incisive and probing stories, City Press was nicknamed the ‘Bible of South African football.
Together (me and Sbusiso) we alternated in writing a weekly column called Pressing Issues which touched on all sports administrators and football role players. We didn’t have a holy cow and we literally ‘walked where angels fear to tread’ and this earned us successive Sports publication of the year awards in 2004 and 2005.
Before FIFA President Sepp Blatter announced South Africa as the winner of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on 15 May 2004 in Zurich, the previous day (on 14 May 2004), Sbusiso who had travelled to Switzerland to cover the event on behalf of City Press, correctly predicted the voting patterns between those of South Africa and Morocco.
Sbusiso covered several events from the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan, the 2006 World Cup in Germany and played a pivotal role in the success of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the first-ever on African soil.
He is the last of the golden generation of true investigative sports journalists and was not afraid of writing about the so-called untouchable officials.
Even when he left City Press, he continued to do some work for SAFA through his online sports company Sbusiso Mseleku Online Sports Channel.
A true sports legend has rested. RIP legend.
#Chimhavi is the SAFA Spokesperson. He writes in his personal capacity.
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 the 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:
Mahlatse Mahlase – SANEF Chairperson, (083) 399-2852
Katy Katopodis – SANEF Deputy Chairperson, (082) 805-7022
Moipone Malefane – SANEF Secretary-General (082) 772-5861
Mary Papayya – SANEF Media Freedom Chair (082) 379-4957
Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Eastern Cape Convenor (073) 404-1415
Janet Heard – SANEF Western Cape Convenor (078) 041-9528
Hopewell Radebe – SANEF Gauteng Regional Convenor (083) 582-1734
Judy Sandison – SANEF KZN Convenor (082) 571-3334
Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director – (082) 926-6404