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'This is a great loss for our family': Poet Sandile Dikeni dies

Sandile Dikeni. File photo: Independent Media.

Sandile Dikeni. File photo: Independent Media.

Published Nov 10, 2019


Cape Town - One of South Africa’s greatest poets Sandile Dikeni died on Saturday, his family has confirmed.

Well known for his poems “Guava Juice” and “The Spear”, Dikeni inspired crowds in their numbers during the Struggle. 

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His death came after a on-off battle with TB, his sister Nomonde said. 

“Last month he got TB for the third time, he phoned me asked me to take him to doctor and we took him to Melomed Mitchell’s Plain where he recovered well. They released him and to come home and continue treatment and everything was fine until he got sick again two weeks back. 

"There he seemed to be recovering again until his passing on Saturday evening around 7pm. 

“This is a great loss for our family. Sandile was a brilliant man. He went to school able to read and write and skipped many grades.  

Dikeni studied law at Wits and UWC where he was on the SRC, and later graduated with a National Diploma of Journalism from Pentech (today called CPUT).

Among the many notable positions he held in his career, he was an arts editor for the Cape Times, editor of Die Suid Afrikaan and political editor of This Day SA. 

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Paying tribute to Dikeni was Cape Times editor Aneez Salie who said: "Dikeni as one of the finest poets and journalists our Struggle has produced.

"His poem Shake that Guava Juice was equally hailed as was his arts editorship on the Cape Times. It pained us no end to see the lingering effects of his car accident, which ultimately stopped him from writing a column for the Cape Times.

"Deepest condolences to his family and comrades. Hamba Kahle Sandile, Lala Ngxolo."

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