Government, media fraternity saddened by Xolani Gwala’s death
Gwala was described him as hard-hitting yet warm, fierce with a touch of softness as well as fearless with a generous spirit.
JOHANNESBURG – Acting President Angie Motshekga has on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his sadness at the passing away of respected broadcaster Xolani Gwala.
She is joined by political parties, other politicians, the media fraternity and South Africans alike after Gwala died on Friday morning.
Motshega's statement said: “We have lost a youthful veteran in an important sector in our country. As a professional who qualified in the mid-1990s, Xolani Gwala carried with him the values of our transition to democracy – the values of listening and being open to views that conflict with or offend your own, and a focus on solutions.
“We will miss his voice, his insight and his love for our country but we will remain grateful that he gave a voice to thousands of South Africans who shared their joys and frustrations in life on the many platforms Xolani commanded with excellence.”
Gwala is being remembered this morning as radio genius, a pioneer and a legend.
The 44-year old passed away in hospital early this morning after battling stage 4 colon cancer. Gwala's career span over 24 years on and off air.
He touched many lives and the messages streaming in on social media is evidence of that.
Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said Gwala's fight against cancer gave hope to many others fighting the disease.
Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said he is absolutely devastated and saddened by the loss of a seasoned legend, while Higher Education Minister Buti Manamela said Gwala is one of the best journalists of his generation.
[WATCH] GCIS Acting DG @mirriamp paying tribute to Xolani Gwala. “ He contributed immensely to the transformational media approach in informing,educating and entertaining.“ #RIPXolaniGwala pic.twitter.com/YKa0opFXu2— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) November 1, 2019
We send our condolences to the friends and family of the seasoned broadcaster Xolani Gwala whose work ethic and command earned him respect in the industry. We will surely miss him on the radio waves. #RIPXolaniGwala pic.twitter.com/WxsRr3urM9— South African Government (@GovernmentZA) November 1, 2019
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr Gwala and express our deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. He played an indispensable role as a facilitator of conversation and ensured that those who are occupying positions of responsibility in our country are held accountable. He was a brilliant newsman and an extraordinary human being,” said Gauteng Premier David Makhura in a statement.
We join fellow South Africans as we mourn the sad passing of one of our greatest broadcast journalists, #XolaniGwala. Your contribution to the profession and service to your country will never be forgotten. Rest well my brother, you fought a good fight. #RIPXolaniGwala https://t.co/nxSHJXtS6c— Minister Jackson Mthembu (@JacksonMthembu_) November 1, 2019
Rest In Peace Mphephethwa Xolani Gwala. Your innings are appreciated. My condolences to his family , friends & 702 family .— Bantu Holomisa (@BantuHolomisa) November 1, 2019
💔 I am so saddened by the news of the passing of Xolani Gwala. He had been sharing his fight against cancer with his listeners and I was very inspired by his fortitude. I was convinced he would overcome this dreaded disease that has become an epidemic. #RIPXolaniGwala pic.twitter.com/XtUDUgM6wB— Lindiwe Sisulu (@LindiweSisuluSA) November 1, 2019
EFF joins the country in expressing heartfelt condolences on the passing of veteran broadcaster Xolani Gwala— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) November 1, 2019
Talk Radio has lost a true radio genius. He possessed a memorable, superior & signature voice with critical content!#RIPXolaniGwala May his soul Rest in perfect peace. pic.twitter.com/gQmBvGfY3O
Xolani Gwala was a legend, an inspiration, a voice for generations, a pioneer,brother & a friend. I’m heartbroken at his passing and truly mourn a once in a lifetime star. I will truly miss him & have sent my love and condolences to Peggy Sue and family . His voice shall live on https://t.co/b0Hq2yQbzL— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) November 1, 2019
Those interviewed by him will tell you about a professional who put his job and getting to the truth first than making things about himself.— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) November 1, 2019
Gwala X was a seasoned broadcaster whose work ethic and command earned him respect. The Media and broadcast industry just got poorer. pic.twitter.com/gIBJnbmir7
Those who worked alongside him like John Robbie agree.
He called him a lovely person and a fine broadcaster, while David O'Sullivan hailed him as the best voice in the business.
Former 702 presenter Stephen Grootes said he looked up to Gwala.
“He was fair and polite. No politician could get off the phone with Xolani and feel that they have been treated disrespectfully, and yet he made sure they answer all of the questions.”
When he came back after some time off, we had such hope— Cindy Poluta (@CindyPoluta) November 1, 2019
Today my heart is so shattered 💔
Always smiling. Always laughing - even when he started fighting the battle and didn't tell any of us.
We missed you every day and will always miss you
Hamba Kahle #RIPXolaniGwala@Radio702 pic.twitter.com/n0tmhtWDd5
My dearest colleague and friend. Such a brave fight you put up. Thank you for making me a more confident and better journalist. PM Live were the glory days. I will miss you dear mphephethwa #RIPXolaniGwala pic.twitter.com/wmtZO5DfAB— Krivani Pillay (@krivpillay) November 1, 2019
(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)