City Press journalist Ngwako Modjadji was killed in an apparent hit-and-run on Saturday night, the publication said in a statement.
“City Press and the Modjadji family regret to announce the untimely death of senior political journalist Ngwako Modjadji who died on Sunday morning.
“Modjadji was killed by a speeding motorist in a hit-and-run incident in Soweto. The death was confirmed by his brother, States Modjadji, who had spent Saturday night with Modjadji,” the statement read.
Modjadji, 40, had a national diploma in journalism from the Tshwane University of Technology. He had worked at the Sowetan and Citizen newspapers, as well as Drum magazine before joining City Press in 2018.
City Press editor Mondli Makhanya said the death of Modjadji was a sad loss for journalism.
“He was a sharp journalist who spared nothing in getting a good story. He personified the term ‘intrepid journalist’. Just over the weekend, he joined former ANC president Jacob Zuma and ANC secretary general Ace Magashule on a door-to-door campaign in KwaZulu-Natal and managed to interview the former president.
“Above all he was just a magnificent human being. A truly wonderful soul,” said Makhanya.
“Ngwako is remembered by his colleagues as a humble human being who always wore a smile, laughed generously and was rarely ever seen upset,” City Press said.
His family said the funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.
Sanef deeply saddened
The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) said it was deeply saddened by the passing away Modjadji.
“He cut his teeth in journalism at the Citizen newspaper before joining the Sowetan as a political journalist,” Sanef said.
“Those who worked with him have praised him for his sterling work ethic, that has seen him dominate front pages of all the publications he has worked for.
“He was a gentle soul, a hard worker and very respectful of everyone. He played an important role in helping interpret the political life of South Africa,” Sanef secretary-general Moipone Malefane, who also worked with Modjadji at Sowetan, said.
“We send our deepest condolences to his family and colleagues in the media especially at the City Press where he was an integral part of their elections coverage. May his soul rest in eternal peace,” Sanef said.
Several police spokespeople could not be reached for comment.
Tributes started to pour in on social media on Sunday morning.
EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi wrote: “Saddened to hear about the passing of @City_Press journalist Ngwako Modjadji. Condolences to the @City_Press and the entire media community. May his soul rest in perfect and eternal peace.”
The ANC will hold a moment of silence for Mdojadji at its election rally in Johannesburg this afternoon.