Govt, FIFA pass condolences to family of deceased journo

Monday, June 29, 2009

Johannesburg - The South African government, FIFA and the Local Organising Committee (LOC) have passed their condolences to the family of the German journalist who died this morning after sustaining injuries in a car accident last week.

Journalists and dignitaries at a post Confederations Cup media briefing at Ellis Park Stadium observed a moment of silence in memory of Wolfgang Jost on Monday morning.

Mr Jost was on his way to report on last week's Confederations Cup semifinal between Spain and the United States in Bloemfontein when the accident happened.

The victim was working for the German news agency Sport-Informations-Dienst (SID), an Agence France-Presse (AFP) subsidiary.

A sombre mood prevailed as journalists listened attentively to FIFA President, Sepp Blatter.

"It is a very sad situation, but we are not masters of our destiny. Before we start this press conference may I then request, as it is customary in FIFA, that when a member of the family dies, to observe a few moments of silence.

"We then present condolences, it is the only thing we can do for the time being after this accident," Mr Blatter said.

LOC Chief Executive Officer, Danny Jordaan said the accident was unfortunate.

"I just want to also say that we regret the death of one of the journalists. It is always sad that you have loss of life in a celebration of a football tournament that is about hope and life giving.

"But also an accident is one of the unfortunate things of life, so we also want to pass our sincerest condolences to the press agency from Germany and all of the family of the deceased journalist," Dr Jordaan said.

He said he was looking forward to welcome the traveling media back in 2010 for the World Cup.

Transport Minister, Sibusiso Ndebele also conveyed condolences to the family of the journalist.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of German journalist, Wolfgang Jost, as a result of a road crash on the way to Bloemfontein on 24 June.

"We want to offer our sincere condolences to his family, relatives and friends.

"We wish those injured a speedy recovery. Our thoughts and prayers are with them all during these difficult moments," said the minister.