Veteran journalist Karima Brown to be buried this afternoon

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Veteran journalist, Karima Brown is being buried this afternoon in Johannesburg after succumbing to COVID-19.

She will be laid to rest in a private burial ceremony which will be held in accordance with Islamic rites and traditions at the West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg.

Brown worked at various media houses including as Executive Producer at SAfm.

Long-time friend, Logan Wort says Brown grew up in Mitchells Plain, in the Western Cape, and served in different youth organisations.

Wort adds that Brown was not just a top journalist, but also a natural leader. As a teen, Brown represented the country at the United Nations General Assembly.

“She and her generation were all young people that joined the youth movement of the 1980s. Karima was bubbly, determined but more importantly, she never stopped asking questions. We were looking at alternatives to apartheid capitalism in South Africa. She became one of the founding organisers of the South African Youth Congress that was led by Peter Mokaba. In 1984, the UN declared the year of the youth, Karima represented South African youth from a liberation point of view at the UN General Assembly where she addressed the general assembly.”

Journalist academic Zubeida Jaffer says Brown was dedicated to the course for justice:  

‘Journalism in service of justice’

In a statement, her family says she was driven by a conviction that journalism must be in service of justice. Before her passing, Brown was the host of The Fix on eNCA.

During her career, she held a number of senior positions in the South African media industry including Political Editor at Business Day and Executive Editor at Independent Media. She hosted a number of radio and television programmes, including on CNBC Africa and 702 Talk Radio.

While broadcaster  Brown has been known for her fierce journalistic style, she has also been described as a woman with a heart of gold that grew talent within the industry. In January 1998, she joined SA FM to work with veteran radio broadcaster John Perlman. A tearful Perlman says she demanded only the best and treated her team with respect and admiration.

“As a journalist, Karima had a fierce dedication to getting to the bottom of stories. She never excepted easy answers, she was never afraid of difficult debates. As a manager, Karima was an incredible human being. People that have seen the kind of fierceness of her journalism,  found it surprising that she really looked out for us. Tough as nails, but as a person, she had a heart of gold (cries). The message she sent was that we are not here to be liked, we are here to be respected.”

Former Editor of Cape Town Times Ryland Fischer says Brown was a strong and independent voice: 

‘Truth seeker’

The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) has hailed Brown as a truth seeker whose contribution to the field of journalism was remarkable. Sanef’s Mary Papaya says the industry has lost a giant.

“It’s absolutely devastating. Karima has a proud history of contribution to our industry and she gave so much. Such a larger-than-life individual who questioned so much shone the light on so much. Well researched, focussed on issues with such passion and tenacity. It’s quite sad for the industry as a whole. If you look at her brave battle, it was a long stay in hospital and I think that many people thought, being the fighter she was, she would definitely pull through.”

Tributes continue to pour in: 

Former Cape Times and Cape Argus editor, Gasant Abarder pays tribute to Karima Brown: