THE Herald and the South African society has lost one its most dedicated journalists who will be remembered for upholding journalistic integrity and ethics during the many years he covered the country's transition from apartheid to constitutional democracy ("Farewells, tributes for journalist Jimmy Matyu", October 1). Highly skilled and well-travelled, Buti Jimmy Matyu was a political journalist of a high calibre who covered many important political assignments here in the metro.
I used to read his columns in the now defunct Evening Post in my school days. He covered not only political events, but also boxing, which was very close to his heart.
His death not only shocked me, but the entire Port Elizabeth and surrounding community.
Buti Jimmy understood very well that the media was not a threat to democracy and the liberation movement, the ANC, but rather an instrument to advance the process of transformation and inform the citizenry .
We are happy that the press no longer endures experiences similar to that when South Africa was under apartheid due to the constitution guaranteeing and protecting press freedom. This is what the ANC has for years fought for.
Matyu was one of those journalists, with others like the late Mono Badela, Wilberforce Mdoda, Satch Saliso and Percy Qoboza, who ensured that we received and consumed well balanced and objective reportage through the print media.
As the ANC, we believe that Jimmy represented an ideal developmental journalist, who was preoccupied by factual, accurate and objective reporting all the time. I regard him as a real professional, a media man of note, whose skills and commitment to the journalism industry will never be forgotten.
The life of Matyu reminds one of the words of South American revolutionary Che Guevara, that "if you tremble with indignation at every injustice, you are a comrade of mine". Not only did Matyu quake with anger at the injustices visited on fellow humanity, he made an effort to change them.
His death has indeed robbed this country of a philanthropist of note.
Certainly, his death will leave a void in the journalism vocation and in the creative writing space in general.
Gift Siphiwo Ngqondi, head, research unit, Office of the Chief Whip, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality