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SANEF mourns the passing of former The Star newspaper photojournalist, Boxer Ngwenya

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27 March 2024

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is saddened by the passing of former The Star newspaper photojournalist, Boxer Ngwenya, on Tuesday at Thelle Mokgoerane Hospital from a cancer-related infection in his lungs. He suffered a stroke last year and was ill for some time.

His friends and colleagues described him as a man who always maintained “journalistic integrity.”

Themba Sepotokele, media trainer and former colleague, described him as a “jolly fellow” who was friendly in the newsroom. Sepotokele said he met Ngwenya thirty years ago when he worked as a librarian at The Star. before he traded books for photography.

“I was a cub reporter at the Sowetan. The late veteran journalist, Themba Molefe, advised me to use the library of The Star for research. Boxer was immensely helpful and since then we formed a bond. Even when I joined The Star in 1997.”

“Later he was appointed a dark room technician, rose up the ladder, and became a photojournalist. We worked well as a team with Robin Comley as Pictures Editor. Boxer was a jolly fellow who would always stop for a chat with colleagues in the newsroom, subs department, transport, or canteen.”

“He was quite level-headed and always discussed football, especially his beloved team Orlando Pirates. In December, we visited him together with former colleagues, Siphiwe Sibeko, Themba Hadebe, and Thobeka Ndabula and he was gravely ill. We wish the family strength in these difficult and trying times,” said Sepotokele.

Sumayya Samsoodien, who worked with Ngwenya at The Star said Boxer was such a laugh and “it was a pleasure working with him. Spreading cheer wherever he went.”

“He would walk into the office every morning cheerful, greeting everyone and making a big noise. You could hear him from a mile away. Boxer was a wonderful person. Always had a smile on his face,” she said.

She said that while every human being goes through tough times, she would remember Boxer as a colleague who hid his troubles very well and who “went about his work without complaining, never in a bad mood, always the same.”

SANEF extends its heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and the entire media fraternity during this time of deep loss.

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 by 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

Dr. Glenda Daniels – SANEF Secretary-General (083) 229-9708

Tshamano Makhadi – Treasurer-General (082) 223-0621

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

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

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