Tributes continue to pour in for veteran broadcaster Xolani Gwala who lost his battle with stage 4 Colon Cancer at the age of 44. Gwala has been described as a gentleman and great broadcaster who was dedicated to his work. Political analyst Ralph Mathekga and SABC traffic correspondent Rob Byrne paid their tributes.
His first editor at SABC Radio News in KwaZulu-Natal, Judy Sandison says Gwala proved his strength as a journalist and presenter as soon as he arrived in the newsroom.
Sandison says, what made Gwala a brilliant anchor, was his ability to tackle crucial matters in a respectful manner.
“I think his legacy was that he never belittled people, even though he was firm as an interviewer, he would bring out the core issues in a very professional, consummate way. He took his audiences with him, part of his legend was his warm personality coupled with his strength as a really good journalist and an excellent interviewer and presenter.”
The African National Congress has called for the media fraternity to ensure that the legacy of Gwala be always remembered.
It says the passing of the 44-year-old is a tragic setback for journalism and the country.
“We thank this patriot for his dedication and passion in telling the South African story with honesty and impartiality. He was fearless broadcaster who had no holy cows and a leader worth emulation by his peers. Up to his last days, Xolani remained a passionate educator and mentor. Furthermore, he contributed immensely to the campaign to raise awareness about cancer. His family can take solace in the fact that Xolani leaves behind a proud legacy in the field of broadcast journalism” says ANC’s Pule Mabe.