The South African National Editors’s Forum (Sanef) expresses the collective shock of its members at the news of the gruesome death of journalist and media activist Hope Zinde. Zinde’s body was discovered in the boot of her car in her house garage. Her son has been taken in by police for questioning. She had been dead for a number of days.
Zinde was amongst the generation of journalists who arrived at the SABC in Auckland Park at the dawn of democracy to help change the content of what until then had been a state broadcaster. With her colleagues and the leadership of people such as the late Zwelakhe Sisulu and Joe Thloloe, they changed the news division into a credible source of information in the service of the South African public. She grew to become a household and respected anchor of prime programmes at SABC News.
She left the SABC but returned years later as a board member still determined to ensure the corporation fulfilled its mission to the public. It was this commitment that saw her clash with the reigning leadership of the SABC, who are steadily turning it into a centre of sunshine journalism where uncomfortable incidents of national importance are being steadily censored out of the news. In her attempts to defend the integrity of the SABC, she turned to both the ANC top leadership and the minister in charge of the SABC but was rebuffed and eventually kicked out of the board.
South African journalism has lost a committed journalist, a campaigner for media freedom and a fearless advocate of sound corporate governance at the SABC.
Sanef and its members convey our heartfelt and deep sorrow at the circumstances under which she died.
Sanef Chairperson Mpumelelo Mkhabela 0822962541
Sanef Executive Director Mathatha Tsedu 0824540527