JOHANNESBURG - Late Zimbabwean-born journalist and publisher Moses Moyo was an asset to the people of Johannesburg and the greater South Africa, Mayor Herman Mashaba said on Thursday.

"Moses was an asset to the City [of Johannesburg]. Moses was good to South Africa. I remember meeting him in the years when I started campaigning to be mayor, and for some reason we built a close relationship," Mashaba said to the crowd of mourners at Moyo's memorial service in Johannesburg.

"He followed me on my visits to some of the horrible living conditions in this city. He always said: 'Mayor we need someone to do something about this'. We are committed as a city to turn this city into a construction site so that we give dignity to our people, but I don't know how I'm going to do it going forward without the help of this young man. Moses was was not just a journalist, for us he was an unofficial partner."

Moyo died at his Johannesburg home on October 25, at the age of 40 following a short illness.

A regular attendee at government press briefings in Johannesburg and Pretoria, Moyo was owner and publisher of the Inner-City Gazette.

Mashaba said he had earlier met Moyo's family, including his daughters.

In his personal capacity, and on behalf of the people of Johannesburg, Mashaba extended condolences to the Moyo family members.

For the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef), executive director Mathatha Tsedu told mourners that Moyo was a champion of a diverse and vibrant media, composed of the big and smaller publications. 

"He cared for the free media that served the people. He cared about the removal of the barriers of entry and the collision of the big players in keeping the small guys down," said Tsedu -- a respected veteran journalist.

"When we realise these concerns that Moses lived for, we should then, as Sanef now, ask ourselves whether in our everyday work and concerns are we using brand Sanef to work towards fulfilling these ideals. When we do that, Moses will live amongst us, in and through our work, forever."

Moyo also worked very closely with the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and other organizations representing interests of Israel.

"To honour Moses's memory, my organisation the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, the South African Zionist Federation, the South African Friends of Israel are establishing an educational trust fund for his young children," said the Board's Cherise Zeifert to applause.

Moyo's former business partner, journalist Mkhululi "MK" Chimoio said as an entrepreneur, Moyo had great business acumen.

"Moses was someone engaging, and full of energy. He loved his children and wanted a better society for them. A promising man taken so early. The world lost a potential game changer on entrepreneurship," Chimoio spoke to African News Agency.

Fellow Zimbabwean journalist, Bongani Siziba said among his compatriots, Moyo would lend a hand to the struggling.

"Every time l needed help he was there. I remember well that I had to shoot the Winnie Mandela funeral but I didn't have the equipment. Moses borrowed me all the equipment from camera, microphone and everything without hesitation. He held my hand throughout," said Siziba of #ZimJournalistsSA.

Moyo's publication wrote extensively about the poor living conditions of people, particularly in the highly populated and crime- riddled Johannesburg inner city.

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African News Agency (ANA)