SABC8 journo Suna Venter dies of 'broken heart'
Suna Venter, one of the journalists who came to be known as the SABC8, was found dead in her flat in Fairlands in Johannesburg yesterday morning.
The journalist was a senior producer of RSG current affairs and had recently been diagnosed with stress cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome, her family said in a statement.
The condition is said to have been caused by trauma and prolonged periods of stress.
Venter was one of eight journalists suspended by the SABC after they voiced their concern about editorial policies including refusing to air protest footage. This has subsequently been reversed by the new interim board at the broadcaster following a parliamentary inquiry.
The eight were dismissed from their positions, but the Labour Court reversed this after an application was made, and the dismissals were found to be wrongful.
In the year since the SABC8 came under fire, Venter was "the victim of continued intimidation, victimisation and death threats", her family said.
She received threatening SMSes. Her flat was reportedly broken into on numerous occasions, the brake cables of her car were said to have been cut and her tyres were slashed.
Her family said she was abducted and tied to a tree on the Melville Koppies while the grass around her was set alight.
Earlier this year, she was shot in the face with an unknown weapon and had surgery to remove the metal pellets.
During the past year, she was assaulted on three occasions.
"Those closest to her believe her condition was exacerbated, if not caused, by the events of the past year," the statement read.
Venter was at the SABC for eight years.
Executive producer of RSG current affairs Foeta Krige said Venter was passionate about current affairs had a deep love for Syria.
"She cared so much about the situation in Syria she took leave right after the war began to report for RSG from the frontline," said Krige.
Venter is survived by her parents, Phillip and Christa Venter, and a brother and sister, Wilhelm and Tessa. - BusinessLIVE