Just days apart the journalism fraternity has lost SABC News Free State editor Teboho Letshaba, veteran SABC News Sepedi Radio current affairs producer and presenter Matome Maupi in Limpopo, and former EWN reporter in Cape Town, Graig-Lee Smith have passed away.
Source: © SABC News SABC News
SABC News Free State editor Teboho Letshaba is one of a number of journalists who have passed away recently
The 40-year-old Letshaba passed away in his sleep at his apartment in Bloemfontein on 4 April 2023 and was buried over the past weekend.
SABC News’ head of input, Angie Kapelianis described Letshaba as versatile, brilliant, and dedicated to education and his work.The multi-award-winning journalist joined the SABC Bloemfontein newsroom in 2008 and held various positions. He also authored at least five Sesotho books, of which one was turned into a theatre production.
Kapelianis said they were still expecting more from him. “He was disciplined. He was a quiet and thoughtful guy. To Teboho’s family, we feel for you. We are with you… To Teboho, sleep well, go well,” sys Kapelianis.
Mandla Mbusi, provincial operations manager at the broadcaster, says: “We are trying to cope with the grief and loss of Letshaba. He would bring you current affair stories, real stories affecting people lives. We have lost a giant in the media industry and as the broadcaster.”
The 52-year-old veteran Sepedi Radio current affairs producer and presenter Matome Maupi passed away on the evening of 13 April 2023 after losing a battle against lung cancer. He’d been sick and on leave since January.
Maupi started his radio current affairs career at Mohodi Community Radio and joined the SABC as the host of the popular current affairs show Hlokwa La Tsela on Thobela FM in the early 2000s, where he was loved for his robust interaction with politicians and officials when tackling service delivery issues affecting communities in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, and Gauteng.
Maupi's former colleague, Thipa Selala, described him as a great mentor, teacher, and a walking Sepedi encyclopaedia.
“When I joined the SABC in 2007 he was tasked with training me. He was a diligent man; his cheerful personality will be missed. He was energetic and worked like a man possessed with extraordinary vision. He had exceptional courage and an unmatched passion for radio. May God rest his soul.”
SABC regional manager Oupa Mamabolo says: "We are bereft of words of comfort as Matome Maupi was one of a kind- an intersection of assertiveness and humility packed in a human being."
Former EWN reporter in Cape Town, Graig-Lee Smith passed away on Sunday evening. His colleague Crystal Orderson described Smith as passionate and energetic since their student days at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).
“He wanted to make a difference in telling stories about communities. He went to speak to rural women and in the Cape Flats who lost children due to violence. He hated sitting in the office and loved going to communities and telling their stories,” she says.
Smith joined e-tv Openview team as a producer. He was later appointed as programme manager at RSG- the main and oldest Afrikaans radio station- where he ensured the station reflected full diversity of Afrikaans speakers from Kuruman to Mitchells’ Plain to Johannesburg.
“He had a knack to get people to tell him how they feel, and he was able to bring those stories to 702, 567 Cape Talk, KFM in the Western Cape and 947 in Johannesburg. As a multi-faceted journalist, he was also a stand in news reader, helping when we needed a voice to read news bulletins,” says Orderson.
The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) sends condolences to the families of these broadcasting giants and colleagues. "Their death is a great loss to the media fraternity, and they will be sorely missed."