Cape Town - Former Cape Herald editor Ted Doman has passed away. He was 88.
Doman was perhaps best known as an editor who shone a light in dark places, moulded a generation of journalists who would later become editors and exposed sporting talent in marginalised black communities through his coverage.
Former Cape Herald sports editor, and later news editor under Doman, Dougie Oakes said: ’His influence always loomed large with me.
“Sometimes he was criticised for things that he said, but from my point of view, I always got encouraged by him,” said Oakes.
Under Doman’s editorship, the Cape Herald, owned by the Argus Group (predecessor to Independent Newspapers), was critical of the apartheid regime, and openly supportive of the SA Council on Sport (Sacos) which opposed the racist sports establishment.
Former Cape Herald staffer Herman Gibbs says Doman’s role was invaluable.
“He was very important in terms of providing coverage for sport in the disadvantaged areas in the late 1960s, early 1970s when black sport very seldom made it into the mainstream media.
“Ted was quite good at that, he seemed to have won the confidence of some of the newspaper companies, and he was recruited… not only for written but photographic coverage.
“He opened the way for others to have positions in mainstream media.
“Ted was quite instrumental in that regard, both in the English and Afrikaans media," says Gibbs.
Former Cape Herald photographer Jack Lestrade described Doman as “a very soft-hearted type of person, and very community-orientated”.
Advocate Norman Arendse said Doman would be remembered as a great editor and a journalist.
“He ran the iconic Cape Herald. The Cape Herald was the mouthpiece of everything that happened in our community in that era, especially in cricket and rugby.”
Doman was the father of former Cape Argus sportswriter Michael Doman, a former cricketer, who passed away almost three years to the day.
“The coverage of our local cricket was very generous. Ted played a critical role in memorialising our sport in our community and was a truly iconic figure, a selfless, humble man,” said Arendse.
Doman’s wife Mildred described him as a gentle soul who was “very unassuming”.
In recent years Doman suffered from dementia, a condition his wife described as “a cruel disease”.
Although his 90th birthday was only in October next year, his wife says he was actively planning to celebrate it.
After the closure of Cape Herald in 1986, Doman worked at the City of Cape Town as a public relations officer.
When he eventually retired from the City council, he opened up his own tourism business which he ran until dementia forced him to finally retire.
“He had a seizure two weeks ago, and when he got to the hospital, he died of pneumonia,” said Mildred.
Doman is survived by his wife, his sons Anthony and Ed, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.