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‘We must ensure Xolani’s fight against cancer is not forgotten’

Speaking at Xolani Gwala's funeral on Saturday, Primedia CEO Omar Essak has has described the 44-year-old as a brave man who fought for those without a voice.

Radio 702’s Xolani Gwala talks to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

IMPENDLE – Primedia group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Omar Essack, where fallen legendary journalist Xolani Gwala was employed, says the company will ensure that Gwala’s name is not forgotten.

Gwala lost his battle to cancer last week after putting up an intense fight against the disease since he was diagnosed two years ago.

Essack has described the 44-year-old as a brave man who fought for those without a voice while addressing mourners in the Novuka village at Impendle where his funeral is taking place.

“We have committed that this fight that he had against cancer, which he fought on behalf of others who had it, we must ensure that that’s not forgotten by the department of health, by the government by the provinces and the President.”

The South African Broadcasting Corporation’s Busani Mthembu says Gwala showed that talent worked best when it was applied with hard work.

“It is not just hard work that will help you reach for the stars, it is the way you carry yourself. Respect for yourself, respect for others – and that is exactly what Xolani did.”

Gwala’s funeral is attended by many, including his colleagues at Primedia broadcasting, senior government representative and well-known media personalities.

At the same time, Gwala’s family has described him as hardworking and humble.

Family member Bhekuyise Gwala said Xolani was a good brother to his siblings and the pride of the family.

“You struggle for yourself, you struggle for your family, for people around you, your country – and I think this is exactly what he did and he did with distinction.

Gwala’s friend, Caroline Malindi has described him as someone who was irrepressible, kind and always respectful.

“Today we say goodbye to a great man who was cut down in the prime of his life. Not only is it a tragic loss to his family, but to the family as a whole.”

His colleagues have defined the s consummate-professional who was always considerate and compassionate.

Gwala is survived by his wife Peggy-Sue Khumalo, his parents Khethezakhe and Thombo Gwala, his four daughters and his five siblings.

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