Suna Venter remembered for being 'unbending in her ideals in a storm of adversity'

04 July 2017 - 12:48 By Katharine Child
Suna Venter. File photo.
Suna Venter. File photo.

A memorial service for SABC journalist Suna Venter‚ 32‚ has begun.

Venter was one of the SABC 8‚ fired for refusing to uphold a protest ban put in place by former boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

The funeral programme described Venter as someone who could make her mother laugh‚ who always won a game of Scrabble‚ knew how to spell every word and someone who stood "unbending in defence of her ideals in a storm of adversity".

It is believed she died of cardiomyopathy - a condition in which the heart muscle is damaged‚ also known as broken heart syndrome.

The illness can be caused by extreme stress and her family believes that death threats and intimidation led to the condition that caused her death.

She was found dead on Thursday in her flat.

The Labour Court reinstated Venter and six other journalists after Motsoeneng fired them.

Since then Venter was the subject of death threats‚ having her brakes slashed‚ being shot at in the face and having her flat in Fairlands broken into numerous times.

The funeral programme contained memories and descriptions of Venter:

She loved oesterbaai‚ chocolate mousse‚ Life from Stone [wine] and fairy lights‚ catching up over a glass of wine or cappuccino at the drop of a hat‚ sy was lief om te gesels‚ her work at the SABC‚ Don Quixote‚ picking out Christmas gifts‚ The Little Prince (and Prince Harry).

The programme pays tribute to Suna saying only Suna could:

  • have R5000 after one round of Monopoly
  • switch between multiple accents‚ transforming our dinner table into an international party
  • field while reading a book during a family cricket match at Oyster Bay
  • embrace so many people from so many walks of life without a hint of prejudice‚ especially those in need stand unbending in defence of her ideals in a storm of adversity.

The programme also features poetry Suna wrote, and a quote from Leonard Cohen's Bird on a wire.

Like a bird on the wire
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.