“Sanef is shocked at the sudden resignation of Makhudu Sefara as editor of The Star.
“Sanef is not privy to the details of the issues that brought this sudden resignation by Sefara and can only respect the wishes of the two parties in the matter,” Sanef said in a statement.
Sefara’s departure was announced by Tony Howard, Independent Newspapers’ deputy executive chairman, who said in a statement that the company and Sefara could not agree on how best to use Sefara’s talents further in the company, the forum said.
Howard had described it as an “amicable and mutually agreed upon” separation, and that neither the company nor Sefara would comment further.
Said Sanef: “Without such further explanation, the terse statement will fuel speculation about what the disagreement in utilising Sefara’s skills really means.”
Sefara was re-elected unanimously as deputy chairman of Sanef at its Annual General Meeting in Cape Town on June 20.
“Sefara remains deputy chairman of Sanef. We appreciate his commitment to continue to champion all that which the organisation stands for, including media freedom and journalistic integrity,” the forum said.
Sefara was also chairman of the media freedom subcommittee and was named editor of the year at the 2014 National Standard Bank Sikuvile Awards.
Earlier on Monday, Sefara confirmed to Sapa he had stepped down.
“I have stepped down and I am no longer the newspaper’s editor. It was an amicable departure,” Sefara said.
There have been several editorial changes and resignations by senior staff at Independent Newspapers since Iqbal Surve’s Sekunjalo-led consortium bought the company last year.