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Media fraternity mourns veteran journalist Enoch Duma

Veteran journalist and anti-apartheid activist Enoch Duma and young community journalist Athule Mazulu died last week.

The South African National Editor’s forum (Sanef) said in a statement that Duma died after a long illness at the age of 88.


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.

Approachable and gifted

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.

Hard worker

Sanef said it 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.”

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