Monare tendered his resignation on Tuesday and would be leaving Independent Newspapers at the end of this month, he said in a statement.
Howard said he was happy that Monare’s decision to leave the company had been handled in a positive way.
He said it was regrettable that Monare was leaving at a critical time when the group was embarking on a new growth strategy.
“Monare would have played a large part in the growth strategy for The Sunday Independent as well as other initiatives and strategies,” he said.
Howard said the company was disappointed but wished him well. He did not give reasons for the resignation.
Monare replaced Makhudu Sefara as editor of the newspaper two years ago.
In the statement, Monare was quoted as saying: “The past ten years have provided me with enormous professional opportunities and personal growth. It was a decade well spent, and a privilege to have worked with outstanding and extraordinary men and women of Independent Newspapers.”
In recent months, a handful of employees from Independent Newspapers either resigned or were allegedly dismissed.
In December, Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois was apparently fired after the newspaper published an article on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s finding against Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.
It found that the minister was guilty of maladministration and improper and unethical conduct in the awarding of an R800 million tender to a Sekunjalo subsidiary to manage the state’s fishery vessels.
The Cape Times is owned by Independent Newspapers, whose new controlling shareholder is Sekunjalo Consortium.
Independent Newspapers’ boss Iqbal Survé denied that Dasnois had been fired, saying she had been offered alternative positions in the company.
Dasnois, however, said she was “unfairly dismissed”.
In an editorial on December 15, Monare spoke about editorial independence.
“As the editor of one of his [Survé’s] titles, a member of the SA National Editors’ Forum and the Press Council, I would want to believe that Dr Survé understands our role as professionals and that the group can only benefit from diversity of views and independent, critical minds of its editors,” he said.
“Editorial independence to me means that the decision regarding the content of The Sunday Independent whether wrong or right lies with me. It means my bosses trust that I will exercise my duties without any interference. It means Dr Survé and his companies including Independent Newspapers will also be subjected to our editorial scrutiny.”
Last month, senior Business Report journalist Donwald Pressly was suspended for allegedly applying to be on the Democratic Alliance’s list of parliamentary candidates for the general election.
Another employee Terry Bell reportedly had his column put on hold.
Independent’s group executive editor Chris Whitfield reportedly took an early retirement last month.
Anne Crotty, a columnist at Business Report, also resigned last week.