Mandy Rossouw has died. The Media 24 group international correspondent and senior political reporter for Primedia Broadcasting’s Eyewitness News was just 33 years old.
“She was 33 years old and had packed a lot into her short but exciting life,” City Press editors Ferial Haffajee and Adriaan Basson said in a statement. “Mandy had been treated from Saturday night for gastric complications and had told family, friends and colleagues she was feeling better by Sunday. Her body was found yesterday after she uncharacteristically did not answer her phone. We are devastated at the sudden and shocking loss of a beloved, kind and talented colleague.”
Rossouw featured in the latest issue of The Media magazine’s annual Top 40 Under 40s list that salutes young leaders in South African media. The criteria for making the list are simple: the person proposed has to be making a real difference in the industry.
“Mandy was Media24′s international correspondent and City Press’ ace political reporter. She also worked at Eyewitness News as a political reporter because she wanted to expand her reporting horizons. Doing it all was Mandy’s governing motto. She was a queen-pin and scoop-getter of our newsroom and a talented all-rounder. Beyond that, she was a dear friend for whom no effort was ever too much,” said Haffajee and Basson.
Rossouw wrote for News24, City Press, Beeld and Die Burger. She previously served as Media24’s foreign correspondent in London but returned to South Africa in 2006 to be the Mail & Guardian’s deputy political editor. In 2011, she rejoined Media24 in this position.
“She was a Menell fellow at Duke University in North Carolina and a guest lecturer in politics and journalism at Duke and a number of South African universities.
“In 2012 she wrote Mangaung: Kings and Kingmakers about the political dynamics in the ANC ahead of the conference in Mangaung. She has also co-authored The World According to Julius Malema about the expelled ANC Youth League leader,” The Media wrote in her listing.
Rossouw was also a keen wine connoisseur with a soft spot for Cap Classique sparkling wine.
“Mandy’s body will be flown to Cape Town and funeral arrangements will be relayed as soon as we know them,” Haffajee and Basson said.
“The entire EWN team is devastated by the news as Mandy inspired all those around her.” said EWN editor-in-chief Katy Katopodis. “She was an astute political journalist, whose work ethic, courage and bravery will always be remembered, as will her kindness, humour and generosity of spirit. Her death is a great loss to our industry and to our newsroom.”
“We are exceptionally touched by the tributes which have poured in to EWN and all our radio stations this morning and it is clear that Mandy will leave a void in the hearts of many,” said Katopodis. “Our condolences to Mandy’s family, her colleagues at City Press and all who knew and loved her.”
Tim du Plessis, head of Afrikaans newspapers at Media24, said Rossouw’s death was “a huge loss for us”.
Social networks Twitter and Facebook paid tribute to the reporter. Colleagues, journalists, readers and even politicians are mourning her untimely death.
City Press news editor Natasha Joseph, also a Top 40 Under 40, said City Press was in mourning. “Mandy Rossouw is gone, at the madly young age of 33, and it doesn’t make any damn sense. Mandy insisted on taking me out for a drink soon after I arrived in Jo’burg, because she wanted to get to know me and show me the sights. I expected a pub, but Mandy told me to meet her and Vash at some place called The Saxon. We drank posh cocktails and ate pricey chicken wraps and laughed for hours. SA has lost an incredibly fine journalist and some of my beloved colleagues have lost a lifelong friend. Go well, Mandy. I feel so lucky to have known you and laughed with you for a year.”
M&G editor-in-chief Nic Dawes said, “Mandy was an extraordinary presence in our newsroom and in our pages; vivid, acute, and determined to break the story. Our thoughts are with her family, her Media24 colleagues and her many friends across the worlds of journalism, politics and diplomacy.”
Former colleague at the Mail & Guardian, Verashni Pillay, wrote, “I don’t believe this is happening. I’m sitting crying in a hotel room in Texas. This can’t be true… I have a gift for her in my bag… This can’t be true.”
No words can describe the sadness & loss felt in the team. MandyRossouw – bright smile, sharp wit & beautiful person. RIP Mandy.
That talent, that mind, that energy, those dimples. Rest in peace #Mandy Rossouw. Journalism, politics and Media24 have lost a giant
Shocked to learn of Mandy’s passing on. RIP Mandy – Hailed journalist Mandy Rossouw dies – Mail & Guardian Mobile
Pressers are going to be a whole lot longer, and the world generally a whole lot duller, without Mandy in it.
Happier times with my friend Mandy Rossouw. RIP. She was to be on radio with me today. I dedicate the show to her.
I’m saddened by Mandy Rossouw’s death. Lovely human being & could have become one of our great editors.
Media24 and EWN reporter Mandy Rossouw has sadly passed away. Her wit, humour and intelligence will be missed.
A sad and tragic farewell to a great journalist, Mandy Rossouw. Condolences to her family, friends and colleagues. SA is the poorer.
I’m so deeply saddened by the passing of Mandy Rossouw. Had many interactions with her and feel such a deep loss. My condolences to her family.
Our thoughts & prayers are with all those who knew & loved Mandy Rossouw. A dear colleague who will be sorely missed in our newsroom. RIP
Tragic, terrible, sad news about the death of Mandy Rossouw – our friend and colleague. Love to her family and close friends.
Surreal that we will never read her byline again. RIP #MandyRossouw.
Photo: City Press