Trib­utes pour in for for­mer SABC pro­ducer Suna Ven­ter

The New Age (KwaZulu-Natal) - - News - NTOMBI NKOSI ntombin@the­newage.co.za

TRIB­UTES have been pour­ing in from the me­dia fra­ter­nity af­ter the death of Suna Ven­ter yes­ter­day. Ven­ter, 32, was a se­nior pro­ducer of RSG Cur­rent Af­fairs. Her body was dis­cov­ered yes­ter­day morn­ing at her flat in Fair­land, Jo­han­nes­burg.

“Suna Ven­ter was re­cently been di­ag­nosed with a car­diac con­di­tion known as stress car­diomy­opa­thy, or bro­ken heart syn­drome, be­lieved to be caused by trauma and pro­longed pe­ri­ods of un­nat­u­ral stress,” her fam­ily said in a state­ment.

Ven­ter made head­lines last year when she was sus­pended from the pub­lic broad­caster along with a num­ber of col­leagues who would later be­come known as the SABC Eight.

The group was sus­pended af­ter they voiced their con­cerns about un­law­ful in­ter­fer­ence in the news­rooms and il­le­gal editorial poli­cies be­ing im­ple­mented at the SABC, es­pe­cially those editorial poli­cies per­tain­ing to the broad­cast of vi­o­lent protests.

They were sum­mar­ily dis­missed but later re­in­stated by the Labour Court af­ter their dis­missals were found to be wrong­ful.

De­spite this vic­tory, Ven­ter was al­legedly con­tin­u­ally in­tim­i­dated, vic­timised and re­ceived death threats.

“Over the course of the past year, she re­ceived var­i­ous threat­en­ing SMS mes­sages. Her flat was bro­ken into on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, the brake lines of her car were cut and her car’s tyres were slashed,” the Ven­ter fam­ily said.

“She was shot at and ab­ducted and tied to a tree at Melville Kop­pies while the grass around her was set alight. On a sep­a­rate oc­ca­sion, she was shot in the face with an un­known weapon and re­ceived surgery to re­move the metal pel­lets from her face. Dur­ing the past year, she was as­saulted on three var­i­ous oc­ca­sions.”

Those clos­est to her be­lieve her con­di­tion was ex­ac­er­bated if not caused by the events of the past year.

‘BRO­KEN HEART’: Suna Ven­ter was found dead in her flat.

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