Former SABC TV and radio host Hope Zinde’s son was expected to appear in the Brits Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with the murder of his mother.
North West police confirmed that the 28-year-old would appear in court after the discovery on Saturday of his mother’s body in the boot of her car at her Pecanwood Estate home near Hartbeespoort Dam.
“Police went to the scene after receiving a report that Zinde had not been seen for days. Upon arrival at the victim’s house, they found her son. After searching the place, they discovered the victim’s body inside the boot of her vehicle,” said Colonel Sabata Mokgwabone.
He said the suspect was initially taken in for questioning but had now been charged with murder.
“He is also expected to face a charge of possession of drugs (crystal meth) with an estimated street value of R350,” Mokgwabone said.
He said he could not speculate as to when Zinde was killed and said a post-mortem would show that as well as the cause and time of death.
News of Zinde’s murder sent shock waves throughout the country, and her untimely death was met with an outpouring of grief and condolence messages.
The news spread fast in Mamelodi where Zinde was a household name.
The SABC, where Zinde once worked and largely made a name for herself, released a statement expressing their condolences.
“Ms Zinde, as a journalist, worked tirelessly in the broadcasting arena in both television and radio. Her experience and knowledge over the years eventually led her to being part of the SABC board.
“She served the board to the best of her ability during her tenure, and the South African public has lost a giant in the field of journalism and broadcasting,” said SABC board chairman Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe.
Zinde, who was born in Mamelodi, was fired from the SABC board after she questioned the alleged interference of Minister of Communications Faith Muthambi in the running of the board.
Muthambi released a statement on Sunday hailing Zinde for her role in shaping the SABC.
“She enjoyed an illustrious career in broadcasting and inspired a new generation of young people to follow in her footsteps,” Muthambi said.
The ANC also expressed shock at Zinde’s death.
“She was known for her passion and dedication to her craft, as well as her role in mentoring younger journalists. The South African communications landscape has lost a committed professional who left an indelible mark on the industry,” it said.
Zinde’s résumé is full of impressive undertakings in the broadcasting and communication landscape, with her work including communications adviser to Coca-Cola SA, the Electoral Commission of SA and the World Bank.
The likes of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, Ndalo Media chief executive Khanyi Dhlomo and Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa posted on their social media pages expressing their shock, with many other South Africans following suit, particularly focusing on media reports alleging her son was responsible for her death.
Zinde’s family, through their spokesman Majota Kambule, released a statement confirming her passing.
“While the investigation into Hope’s untimely passing is in progress, we ask for your support in allowing the authorities to do their work,” the statement read.