Condolences pour in for Zwelakhe Sisulu

04 October 2012 - 18:52 By Sapa

Condolences poured in on Thursday for struggle veteran Zwelakhe Sisulu, who died in his sleep at his home on Thursday morning.

"The Sisulu family is deeply saddened to advise of the untimely passing of Zwelakhe Sisulu, third son of Walter and Albertina Sisulu.

"The precise cause of death is yet to be confirmed. He has however been suffering from complications of diabetes," the family said in statement.

Sisulu, 61, spent the past few years nurturing various business interests across Africa.

The SABC, of which he was chief executive from 1994 until 1997, said Sisulu held a special place in the history of the SABC and the country.

"He steered the organisation post the apartheid era and helped transform it from a state broadcaster into the public service broadcaster it is today."

"Sisulu played an important role in society and his endeavours and contribution to South Africa will never be forgotten."

Individuals who worked with him in media also praised his professionalism and talents.

"This is a tragic loss to many people like me who crossed his path," said former journalist and head of communications at City of Johannesburg, Jabu Tugwana.

Tugwana said he worked with Sisulu at the New Nation newspaper where Sisulu was a founding editor from January 1986.

"Being led by a person of his calibre was a privilege. He was soft-spoken and very engaging."

Press Ombudsman Joe Thloloe said besides being a good journalist, Sisulu had charisma.

"That charisma led to him forming the Writers Association of SA to start professionalising black journalism."

Sisulu was the founding leader of the union, Media Workers Association of SA.

He is survived by his wife, Zodwa, daughter Zoya, sons Moyikwa and Ziyeka and granddaughter Lilitha.

Details of funeral arrangements as well as memorial services would be released as they became available.