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The South Africa National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) expresses its condolences to the family, colleagues and friends of veteran KwaZulu-Natal newsman and government communicator, Sipho Khumalo.
Khumalo died on Tuesday after he was hospitalized, according to a family statement.
A newsman for more than four decades, Khumalo moved from a stellar career in newspapers to government communications. He was a spokesman for KZN’s Department of Community Safety & Liaison until his passing.
Khumalo made his mark in several newsrooms in the province, including as bureau chief at The Sowetan and as political correspondent at The Mercury in Durban.
He was widely regarded as the doyen of political reporters in the province and played an important role mentoring younger journalists.
In paying tribute, colleagues have focused on his knowledge of the people and politics of KwaZulu-Natal.
A former colleague at Independent Newspapers, Agiza Hlongwane, paid tribute on Facebook, recalling that Khumalo “was quite the political animal” and a “master of his craft who was known and respected by the who’s who of the world of politics”.
“The game ran through his veins. At media briefings, uMntungwa commanded the respect of top political leaders…He had strong views, and was not afraid to challenge those in authority – including senior editorial staff who might have held conservative political views. comrade.”
Another former colleague, Fred Kockott, also paid tribute on social media, saying:
“There are probably a lot of folk that do not realise that, back in the mid-80s, Sipho inspired the formation of Concord News that served several international agencies including AFP and REUTERS as well as alternative weekly titles, Weekly Mail (Now Mail & Guardian) New Nation and the South.
“Sipho, in fact, started up the very first discussion about it all after a hectic day covering political violence in KwaMashu, the realities of which were not covered in mainstream media.”
Khumalo is survived by his wife Dolly Ngubane-Khumalo, his father December Khumalo, his children and grandchildren.
For Inquiries:
Sanef Secretary General – Reggy Moalusi 071 682 3695