Senior political journalist Ngwako Modjadji dies in alleged hit-and-run

05 May 2019 - 13:17 By Iavan Pijoos
Ngwako Modjadji died on Saturday evening what was believed to be a hit-and-run.
Ngwako Modjadji died on Saturday evening what was believed to be a hit-and-run.
Image: Mbuyiseni Ndlozi on Twitter

A City Press senior political reporter,  Ngwako Modjadji, has died in what is believed to have been a hit-and-run accident, the SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) confirmed on Sunday.

He died in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The 40-year-old had a national diploma in journalism from the Tshwane University of Technology. He had worked at the Citizen and Sowetan newspapers, as well as Drum magazine, before joining City Press in 2018.

According to his uncle, Sonti Modjadji, Ngwako was at e'Social Link in Soweto and was crossing Impala Road to catch an Uber.

"It was indeed a hit-and-run. But the number plate stayed behind at the scene. Ngwako died at the scene," Sonti said.

The incident happened at around 1.30am on Sunday.

"He cut his teeth in journalism at the Citizen newspaper before joining the Sowetan as a political journalist. He was currently part of the core team reporting on politics at the City Press," Sanef said in a statement.

Modjadji's colleagues praised him for his "sterling work ethic", which saw him dominate the front pages of the publication.

Editor-in-chief of City Press, Mondli Makhanya, said Modjadji 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," Makhanya said.

He said that the country's journalism industry had lost one of its "shining lights".

Sanef secretary-general Moipone Malefane, who had also worked with Modjadji at Sowetan, has described him as a gentle soul, hard worker and a very respectful man.

"He played an important role in helping interpret the political life of SA," Malefane said. "We send our deepest condolences to his family and colleagues in the media especially at the City Press where he was an integral part of their elections coverage."