Senior City Press journalist Ngwako Modjadi has passed away after being hit by a car in an alleged hit and run incident outside the e’Social Link chisa nyama in Soweto, Johannesburg.
A family member confirmed his death, telling The Citizen that it took place on Saturday and that she will be meeting with the family later. They will elect a family spokesperson to provide the media with full details.
EFF spokesperson Dr Mbuyiseni Ndlozi took to Twitter to offer his condolences to City Press and “the entire media community”, sentiments seemingly echoed through a retweet by the party’s leader, Julius Malema, who also replied to the tweet, expressing shock.
The DA’s Mabine Seabe also tweeted his condolences, describing Modjadji as a “journalist of the highest integrity.”
The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on Sunday expressed deep sadness at Modjadji’s untimely death.
“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,” said Sanef secretary general Moipone Malefane.
City Press editor in chief Mondli Makhanya said Modjadji had incredible energy and enthusiasm for his work.
“Ngwako was undoubtedly one of the country’s leading political writers. He had incredible energy and enthusiasm and his understanding of political dynamics gave him an ability to spot a story from afar. And once he got the scent of a story he chased it until he got it. South African journalism has lost one of its shining lights,” said Makhanya.
Several journalists who worked alongside Modjadji have described him as a hard working reporter.
“What a brilliant force, a hard worker of note. We will forever miss this gentle giant some of us have looked up to. We, as young journalists, have sadly been robbed of an opportunity to continue learning from the man from the far north. We are left distraught,” said Pelane Phakgadi, a journalist at the newly-launched Newzroom Afrika channel.
Pule Letshwiti, a journalist at Open News, described Modjadji as a fearless reporter. “Ngwako Modjadji was fearless in his reportage, working without favour or fear. His work will always remain a constant reminder of how boundaries can be pushed to the limits in the media fraternity space. May the almighty God strengthen his family in these tough times of grief,” said Letshwiti.
Modjadji cut his teeth in journalism at The Citizen before joining The Sowetan as a political journalist. He was part of the core team reporting on politics at City Press at the time of his death.
UPDATE: This story has been updated with comment from Sanef, City Press and various journalists, as reported by African News Agency.
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. ???????????????????? pic.twitter.com/iVUMwaNtqe
— #OurLandAndJobsNow (@MbuyiseniNdlozi) May 5, 2019
The passing of @City_Press' Ngwako Modjadji is a deeply saddening.
A journalist of the highest integrity.
Condolences to his family, friends and the Media fraternity.
Rest well, my brother.
— Mabine Seabe II (@Mabine_Seabe) May 5, 2019