Picture: Facebook

Johannesburg - Government has conveyed its condolences to the friends and family of veteran television journalist and eNCA director of news Ben Said.

The television channel announced that Said drowned on Monday afternoon while on holiday with his family in Mozambique.

"Said was one of the country’s best television journalists having joined ETV during the channel’s early days and his loss to the country’s media industry will be felt", government spokesperson Phumla Williams said in a statement.

"The death of a journalist of Said’s calibre makes the media profession poorer. The industry, and in particular journalists, plays a critical role in shaping public discourse, equipping citizens with information, and strengthening the country's democracy."

After three and a half years in Instanbul, Turkey, working for broadcaster TRT World, Said had recently returned to South Africa. Said rejoined eNCA in July and was in charge of editorial as director of news. 

eNCA's editor Jeremy Maggs said: “Ben was one of the country’s best television journalists and his loss to the station is immense. Having just re-joined the station he was already making his presence felt across all aspects of the business. We are all in deep shock.”

Said is survived by his wife and two young daughters.

African News Agency (ANA)