Pretoria - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane has described the news of the death of journalist Mandy Rossouw as a blow to the country’s journalism fraternity.
“There is no doubt in my mind that South Africa has lost a passionate compatriot whose sense of news and fairness was a cut above the rest,” Mokonyane said.
Rossouw was a senior reporter at Media 24 and Talk Radio 702’s Eyewitness News. She was found dead in her Johannesburg flat by a friend after she failed to arrive for a dinner date. The cause of her death is unknown although reports say that she suffered a short illness.
“On behalf of the Gauteng Provincial Government, I would like to urge Rossouw’s family, friends and the entire news fraternity to be strong. Indeed, we all have lost a daughter, friend and colleague. During this dark period we wish them strength and courage,” Mokonyane said.
She added that the death of Rossouw would have a wider impact for the country as the loss of her institutional memory would leave the profession poorer.
“Mandy Rossouw was a gutsy journalist who took great care in putting issues into context in her reporting. This fearlessness was also demonstrated when she made a seamless transition to radio broadcasting,” said Mokonyane.
Rossouw, who always referred to Mokonyane as her ‘big sister’, last spoke to the premier after the State of the Province Address in February.
She was also respected for being an early adopter of the social media platform which was an uncharted territory for many in the industry.
Russouw also represented a breed of young women who have occupied key positions in the media, breaking the barriers that other women journalists struggled to conquer, the premier said.
Mokonyane said her family should be proud of her and be thanked for their contribution and support in making Russouw the person she was and will be fondly remembered as.
Earlier today, GCIS Acting CEO Phumla Williams conveyed government’s condolences to the family.
“Rossouw was a seasoned and experienced journalist, whose reporting contributed to shaping South Africa’s discourse,” said Williams, adding that her death was a huge loss to the media industry and South Africa. – SAnews.gov.za