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Johannesburg - The SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) on Tuesday said it was deeply saddened by the death of journalist Mandy Rossouw.
“Mandy had achieved an enormous amount in a relatively young career,” it said in a statement.
Rossouw, 33, died on Monday. She had been treated for gastric complications on Saturday night and told family, friends and colleagues on Sunday that she was feeling better.
“She broke important political stories at Beeld, the Mail & Guardian and City Press and provided sharp analysis to EWN listeners,” Sanef said.
“She was also quick to realise the potential of digital platforms and social media for both reporting and engagement with her audience and helped to introduce other journalists to these powerful new tools.
“The journalism community will miss Mandy both personally and professionally.”
Earlier on Tuesday political parties and trade unions reacted with sorrow to the news of Rossouw's death.
The African National Congress said she was among the most diligent and multi-talented journalists in the political arena.
“She made her mark in the stories she wrote and the commitment she demonstrated for the industry. Her writing skills, her willingness to listen and her probing research will be missed,” said ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu in a statement.
“We extend our condolences to her family, friends and her colleagues in the media industry. May her soul rest in peace.”
The National Union of Metalworkers of SA said Rossouw was a revered journalist, gifted with considerable talent as a writer, and an indispensable voice.
“She used these gifts unselfishly to narrate the socio-economic injustices faced by the working class and the poor in the modern day and capitalist South Africa,” said spokesman Castro Ngobese in a statement.
“She was a living embodiment of the supreme sacrifices made by Ruth First, Michael Harmel, Bessie Head, and Alex la Guma for a free and independent media.”
Congress of the People president Mosiuoa Lekota said Rossouw was a charismatic journalist with integrity and had the courage to write the truth, without fear or favour.
“She served the South African community and the entire media fraternity without exception,” he said.
“Rossouw will be remembered as a zealous newshound who stood for the truth in public interest, and remained fiercely objective at all times.”
The Young Communist League of SA remembered Rossouw with fondness.
“We remember her as friendly, fair and the ultimate professional,” the league said in a statement.
“(We) understand the role that journalists play in shaping the narrative in South Africa and Mandy with her coverage of international relations played a major role in this.”
The Inkatha Freedom Party said Rossouw would be sorely missed.
“As a young journalist she had already achieved great heights in her career,” said spokeswoman Liezl van der Merwe.
“She was a young woman with integrity, passion and commitment Ä not only to the fourth estate Ä but to her nation and our democracy at large.”
The Press Gallery Association (PGA), of whom Rossouw was a member on behalf of Media24 between 2003 and 2006, was shocked by the 33-year-old's death.
“Even after she left the parliamentary gallery of journalists, she was a regular visitor to Parliament on important occasions,” the association said in a statement.
“Mandy Rossouw made a valuable contribution to journalism and was widely respected. She will be sorely missed.”
Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane described Rossouw's death as a blow to South Africa's journalism fraternity.
“There is no doubt in my mind that South Africa has lost a passionate compatriot whose sense of news and fairness was a cut above the rest,” Mokonyane said in a statement.
“Mandy Rossouw was a gutsy journalist who took great care in putting issues into context in her reporting. This fearlessness was also demonstrated when she made a seamless transition to radio broadcasting.
“Through her articles and reports, it was clear that Rossouw had studied the political terrain and knew it well. Hence her stories were always credible and well-contextualised,” Mokonyane said.
The ANC Women's League said the greater media fraternity had suffered a great loss.
“Rossouw was one of the few journalists who took an avid interest in covering gender politics issues and her attention to detail, especially with regards to the coverage of policy matters, will be sorely missed,” spokeswoman Troy Martens said.
“The ANCWL had a very good working relationship with Rossouw and her absence in media briefings will be noticeable with her untimely death.”
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) said Rossouw was an inspiration to aspiring and seasoned journalists alike.
“Rossouw's... ability to hold down four responsibilities and ... to pen down two books is a testimony of a dedicated and hard-working individual,” the CGE said.
“We take solace in the fact that she passed on while doing what she loved the most, that is, journalism. It is through heroines like her that today we have CGE, which has to ensure that whatever she stood for should not be in vain.” - Sapa