“Suna will be missed” – SABC spokesperson

Suna Venter suffered from a heart condition. Photo: File/Ashtyn Mackenzie

Spokesperson for the South African Broadcasting Corporation, Kaizer Kganyago said Suna Venter, a senior producer at the corporation, will be sorely missed by her colleagues.

Venter was found dead in her flat in Windsor West on 29 June at 1pm. Police are still investigating the cause of death.

Read: Breaking: SABC producer found dead in her flat

Kganyago added that news must go on. “The content and production will not be affected because there are other producers who can take over her role in current affairs.”

A variety of groups have sent their condolences. The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) expressed its shock and sadness in a public statement. “Venter will always be remembered for never giving up even when she faced threats and intimidation. She believed in the role of the public broadcaster as enshrined in our constitution to play a central role in strengthening our democracy,” said Sanef chairperson, Mahlatse Gallens.

Venter was part of the ‘SABC 8’, a group of journalists who were fired and then reinstated after openly disagreeing with SABC policies of news coverage.

Her family said in a statement that Venter was diagnosed with a cardiac condition called stress cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome.

The statement said after her reinstatement, Venter ‘was the victim of continued intimidation, victimisation and death threats’. She was allegedly tied to a tree at Melville Koppies Nature Reserve while grass around her was set alight. She was reportedly shot in the face with an ‘unknown weapon’ and metal pellets had to be surgically removed.

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