OB­SERVER ED­I­TOR PASSES ON

...Vet­eran Ed­i­tor put his last pa­per to bed on Wed­nes­day night- and died sud­denly at the Mba­bane Govt Hos­pi­tal

Swazi Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Act­ing As­sis­tant News Ed­i­tor Sto­ries by Sisho Ma­gag­ula

IT is a sad day for the me­dia land­scape in the coun­try.

Vet­eran and shrewd ed­i­tor of the Swazi Ob­server Group of News­pa­pers Thu­lani Th­wala has passed on.

Th­wala’s sud­den and shock­ing death oc­curred in the early hours of yes­ter­day at the Mba­bane gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tal where he had been rushed to af­ter col­laps­ing.

His tragic death spread like wild fire yes­ter­day at the cap­i­tal city, with per­plexed jour­nal­ists, friends and rel­a­tives ask­ing them­selves many unan­swered ques­tions.

Ex­pe­ri­ence

Th­wala, a sea­soned jour­nal­ist pol­ished by 23 years of news­room ex­pe­ri­ence, died shortly af­ter edit­ing yes­ter­day’s copy of the Swazi Ob­server, which hap­pened to be his last pub­li­ca­tion in this life­time.

The Swazi Ob­server news­room, which had be­come Th­wala’s sec­ond home for many years, was char­ac­terised by un­told scenes of ex­treme grief and deep sor­row for the whole of yes­ter­day, with shat­tered em­ploy­ees con­stantly sob­bing and bat­tling to come to terms with the sud­den death of the man they had grown to love and re­spect over the years.

Be­fore he met his sud­den demise, Mr. T, as he was af­fec­tion­ately known, was his usual joy­ful self on Wed­nes­day, crack­ing jokes with ev­ery­body in the news­room. He left the news­room at around 11: 45pm af­ter putting the pa­per to bed, telling some of his col­leagues that he was go­ing to his house to cel­e­brate the win of his favourite soc­cer team, Mba­bane High­landers which had beaten Green Mamba 2 – 1.

This was to be his last pres­ence in the news­room. He died at the Mba­bane gov­ern­ment hos­pi­tal hardly two hours later. The cause of his shock­ing death is still un­known. His brother Shaka Th­wala, in an in­ter­view yes­ter­day, con­firmed the death of the long-serv­ing ed­i­tor.

A teary Shaka was at a loss for words as he con­firmed the demise of the man who has made his name as one of the finest jour­nal­ists this coun­try has ever pro­duced in re­cent his­tory.

“Words can­not de­scribe how we feel right now. We have too many unan­swered ques­tions. But God knows and only He knows the rea­son why this has hap­pened. We can only send our con­do­lences to his friends and col­leagues in the me­dia in­dus­try that he has worked for with dis­tinct ex­cel­lence for many years. Thu­lani was a peo­ple’s per­son and, as they say, it takes a vil­lage to raise a child. It is for this rea­son that we also send our con­do­lences to ev­ery­body who knew bese an­gasa and as­so­ci­ated with him. Thu­lani siyewetfu bese awe­live,” but he said. “We also send our con­do­lences to the en­tire Swazi Ob­server fam­ily be­cause Thu­lani spent many hours of his life at the Swazi Ob­server than at home,” he stated. Shaka said fur­ther de­tails about Th­wala’s me­mo­rial and sub­se­quent burial will be com­mu­ni­cated to the pub­lic in due course. Man­ag­ing Direc­tor of the Swazi Ob­server Group of News­pa­pers Alan Mkhonta also ex­pressed shock at the news of Th­wala’s pass­ing and con­veyed his con­do­lences to his fam­ily.

Sor­row

“It is with deep re­gret, sor­row and ex­treme sad­ness that the Board of Di­rec­tors, Man­age­ment and Staff of the Swazi Ob­server Group of News­pa­pers an­nounce the painful and sud­den pass­ing of our beloved ed­i­tor Mr Thu­lani Th­wala on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 8, 2018. We wish to ex­tent our pro­found con­do­lences to all staff and par­tic­u­larly to his fam­ily and many friends. We have lost a great leader and team player who was very good in his craft. We are still shocked by what has hap­pened,” he said. Mkhonta de­scribed Th­wala’s demise as a ter­ri­ble catas­tro­phe that has be­fallen the com­pany, his fam­ily and friends.

LATE: Thu­lani Th­wala.

NO MORE: Vet­eran and shrewd ed­i­tor of the Swazi Ob­server Group of News­pa­pers Thu­lani Th­wala.

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