13 May 2023
The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is saddened to learn of the deaths of stalwart journalist and anti-apartheid activist Enoch Duma (88) on Thursday after a long illness, and Athule Mazulu, a young community media journalist.
Veteran journalist, Ike Segola, described Duma as “a stalwart of black journalism” in this country. He said Duma was among a band of trailblazing black journalists of the bygone years who truly put a stamp on the ability of black newsmen – who operated under overwhelming odds.
“Duma can be remembered as one of the pioneers in the former The World and The Golden City Post. He was among the first black journalists to work for the newly launched Rand Daily Mail Extra and later The Sunday Times Extra editions. His reports always featured prominently in these papers,” said Segola.
Duma, the son of a Baptist minister, born in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, worked his way from reporting the courts in his hometown to working on a national newspaper. He started working for the Post in Durban and later moved to join the City Post in Johannesburg where he focused on crime reporting, especially the plague of gangsterism in the city.
Thami Mazwai, a researcher on small business, a former newspaper editor, and an anti-apartheid activist said he remembered Duma as a very approachable senior journalist who always guided young journalists like himself most of the time. “He was one of the gifted and graphic writers. The youth of today should look up to him for his role in journalism,” he said.
Duma worked with legendary writers such as Can Themba, Henry Nxumalo, Nat Nakasa, Doc Bikitsha, Casey Motsisi, Joe Thloloe, Phil Mthimkhulu, Jubi Mayet, Sophie Tema, Nomavenda Mathiane, Stanley Motjuwadi, Benjamin Pogrund, Patrick Mackenzie and many other celebrated journalists.
He was arrested numerous times and ended up spending nine months in prison. He went into exile in the United States with his wife, Kitty. He was a prime mover in the divestment campaign – encouraging US firms to pull out of South Africa – that helped usher in the end of apartheid.
SANEF is also distraught to hear of the passing on of a young community Cape TV journalist, Athule Mazulu, at the young age of 32. According to her sister Zintle, she was taken to a hospital complaining about stomach pain. “On Monday they took her to Tygerberg hospital, she passed away on Wednesday.”
“She was a mother to us as we grew up without parents, she was a hard worker,” said Zintle.
Siphiwo Nkonki, News Manager for Cape Town Daily News said: “The Cape Town Daily news team and Cape Town TV are devastated by the loss of someone so young with so much life and living ahead of her. May her soul rest in peace.”
SANEF sends condolences to the families and colleagues of both journalists. Their deaths are a great loss to the media fraternity and will be sorely missed.
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
Qaanitah Hunter – SANEF Secretary-General
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
Email: [email protected]