Johannesburg - Tributes poured in on Sunday for City Press senior reporter Ngwako Modjadji, who was killed in an apparent hit-and-run incident outside the e'Social Link chisa nyama in Soweto, Johannesburg in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Both the African National Congress and the Democratic Alliance expressed sadness at Modjadji's untimely death.
"Mr Modjadji has, over the years, been a political reporter who consistently upheld the principles of the profession. He conducted himself with utmost humility and integrity. Mr Modjadji gave journalism the respect and admiration it deserves. He believed in the time-tested values of honest, fair, and balanced reporting," the ANC said in a statement.
True to his character, Modjadji was an inspiration to many political reporters who served in various newsrooms. South Africa owed him a debt of gratitude for the role he played in instilling professionalism and upholding acceptable ethical standards of the journalism profession.
"We convey our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues in the media fraternity in its entirety. May his soul rest in peace," the ANC said.
In another statement, the DA also conveyed its condolences to Modjadji's family, friends, and colleagues at City Press and the media fraternity at large.
"It is a fitting tribute that Modjadji’s final byline appeared on the front page of the City Press [on Sunday]. This speaks to his integrity and commitment to his craft. Modjadji always sought to get the facts right, sometimes even holding a story back because it did not sit right with him. His duty was to convey the news, not involve himself in internal politics.
"He was quiet in his questioning, but firm in his determination to seek the truth. Indeed, he was a truly humble man. Modjadji will be missed by all those who crossed paths with him. May his soul rest in peace," the DA said.
The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) also expressed deep sadness at Modjadji's death. "He was a gentle soul, a hard worker, and very respectful of everyone. He played an important role in helping interpret the political life of South Africa,” said Sanef secretary general Moipone Malefane.
City Press editor-in-chief Mondli Makhanya said Modjadji had incredible energy and enthusiasm for his work.
“Ngwako was undoubtedly one of the country’s leading political writers. He had incredible energy and enthusiasm and his understanding of political dynamics gave him an ability to spot a story from afar. And once he got the scent of a story he chased it until he got it. South African journalism has lost one of its shining lights," said Makhanya.
Several journalists who worked alongside Modjadji described him as a hardworking reporter. "What a brilliant force, a hard worker of note. We will forever miss this gentle giant some of us have looked up to. We, as young journalists, have sadly been robbed of an opportunity to continue learning from the man from the far north. We are left distraught," said Pelane Phakgadi, a journalist at the newly-launched Newzroom Afrika channel.
Pule Letshwiti, a journalist at Open News, described Modjadji as a fearless reporter. "Ngwako Modjadji was fearless in his reportage, working without favour or fear. His work will always remain a constant reminder of how boundaries can be pushed to the limits in the media fraternity space. May the almighty God strengthen his family in these tough times of grief," said Letshwiti.
Modjadji cut his teeth in journalism at The Citizen before joining the Sowetan as a political journalist. He was part of the core team reporting on politics at City Press at the time of his death.
African News Agency (ANA)