The death of Pretoria News journalist and former chairman of the National Press Club, Patrick Hlahla, is a “blow to the country’s journalism fraternity” says Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane.
Her words echoed those of President Jacob Zuma who said Hlahla had been “a seasoned reporter for the Pretoria News, where he was also reputed for mentoring and nurturing up-and-coming journalists into full-blown professionals”.
“We are saddened by his untimely loss. On behalf of government and the people of South Africa, we wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and the media fraternity. May his soul rest in peace,” said President Zuma.
Mokonyane said that Hlahla, an award-winning journalist, would be remembered as “a talented journalist who did a sterling job in covering the metro beat at the Pretoria News; a job he did for over a decade”.
“On behalf of the Gauteng Provincial Government, let me pass our heartfelt condolences to the Hlahla family, friends and the entire news fraternity. We would like to urge them to remain strong during this difficult time,” she said.
Chairman of the National Press Club, Jos Charle, said it was “with great shock and disbelief that we learnt about the untimely death of our most reliable and forever smiling friend and colleague, Patrick Hlahla”.
“We trust that his colleagues at the Pretoria News will soldier on, knowing that Hlahla would have wanted them to continue to uphold the highest standards of reporting and integrity in their work,” Charle said.
Hlahla died at his home in Pretoria on Sunday morning after telling his family he felt unwell. He is survived by his wife Joyce and three children.
IMAGE: National Press Club, Facebook