The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) has learnt with great sadness of the untimely death of journalist, writer, editor and founder of the online publication Indian Spice, Naufal Khan (39). He died on Monday after a long illness.
Khan plied his craft at the Sunday Times, Thomson’s Travel and Independent Newspapers, always nurturing the dream of a relevant publication that spoke to the Indian community in South Africa, in all its diversity.
He has been described as a person who served the truth with unflinching courage and called out injustice wheresoever he found it. He dedicated the last four years to Indian Spice, growing it into a large online platform that consistently broke big stories, which gave the Indian community the blend of news that they wanted, and was itself the topic of many mealtime conversations.
His long-time friend and Media Specialist in the public sector, Sureshinee Govender said: “His bravery and courage and the sense of deep humanity for all living creatures were rare. Naufal embraced all religions and was an example to all of us not to use religion to sow divisions but to unite in service to humanity.”
Khan fought to the bitter end but succumbed to his illness after an operation and more than a month stay in critical care in hospital, unrelated to the coronavirus pandemic.
Tributes have poured in from thousands of his friends, fellow journalists, followers of his Indian Spice and those individuals whose cause he took up.
“We will mourn him and celebrate what he has achieved as the chronicle of his community,” said Derek Abdinor, Khan’s partner in Adishakti Media.
“His standard as the modern digital storyteller and the impact that a truthful voice can have will inspire generations.”
He was a contributor and supporter of MambaOnline. “His death is a tragic loss to both the Indian and the LGBTQ communities in South Africa,” said MambaOnline’s editor Luiz De Barros.
Nivashni Nair, Sunday Times senior journalist who knew Khan for more than 15 years said: “It came as no surprise that, after many years of working at various media houses, Naufal would go on to be the editor, creative mastermind and soul of an award-winning website which found success on all social media networks.”
Khan thrived on breaking stories on His investigative stories often led to arrests and convictions.
SANEF extends its deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.
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:
Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Chairperson (073) 404-1415
Adriaan Basson – SANEF Deputy Chairperson (082) 562-2113
Mahlatse Mahlase – Secretary General (083) 399-2852
Nwabisa Makunga – Treasurer (082) 555-1972
Mary Papayya – SANEF Media Freedom Chair (082) 379-4957
Asanda Ngoasheng – Western Cape Convenor – 082 610 9374
Judy Sandison – SANEF KZN Convenor (082) 571-3334
Katy Katopodis – SANEF Gauteng Convenor (082) 805-7022
Chiara Carter – SANEF Eastern Cape Convenor (082) 659-9162
Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director – (082) 926-6404
Email: [email protected] Website: www.sanef.org.za