Cape Town - Described as warm, gentle and kind, former Cape Argus editor Jermaine Craig is being mourned by his family, colleagues and the media fraternity at large following his sudden passing.
A family statement said that Craig, who was just 47, collapsed while at gym and was rushed to the Mediclinic Sandton Hospital where efforts to revive him failed.
The family requested privacy during this time and prayers for his wife Michelle, sons Matthew and Christian, his mother and the rest of his family.
Craig worked at South African Tourism and was part of the SA 2010 Fifa World Cup organising committee.
He was born in Cape Town and attended Salt River High School.
Former Cape Argus editor and current UWC media and marketing head Gasant Abarder said Craig was two years ahead of him at Salt River High School and he affectionately referred to him as “Carlton Palmer”, a well-known football player of the 1990s, due to the striking resemblance when on the field together.
Abarder said Craig was a respected sports journalist who won numerous awards, particularly related to football.
“So it came as no surprise in 2010 when Jermaine became the spokesperson for the 2010 local organising committee for the Fifa 2010 World Cup. Our paths would later cross, about three years later at Independent Media,” Abarder said.
“He was a very brave editor. He started the format that the Cape Argus is currently in and he tackled issues that people spoke about privately at the dinner table but were not brave enough to have in public and he put them on the pages of newspapers.”
“In his later years, he became a great asset to Kaizer Chiefs, where he worked in communications,” Abarder said.
“So the football fraternity will miss Jermaine, the journalism fraternity will miss Jermaine, but most of all, his friends and family and everyone who knew him, knew him as this gentle giant. And he’s always been like that.
“Humble guy, sweet and sincere since high school and he never changed. He had a firm value system. He stood strong. He fought for justice and he lived a good life. It’s just sad that at the age of 47, we lose somebody of his stature like this.”
In a message of condolence, the Kaizer Chiefs Football Club said they were shocked and distraught on hearing of the sudden and devastating passing of Craig.
“No words can describe the despair we feel at losing a valued colleague and dear friend. Right now our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones as they try to process this heart-wrenching misfortune. May his soul rest in eternal peace.”