The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has paid tribute to City Press executive editor Dumisane Lubisi who died of heart failure on Friday night.
According to the newspaper’s managing editor Rhodé Marshall, Lubisi, 44, had previously worked at African Eye news agency, This Day newspaper, and the Sunday Times before joining City Press in June 2007 as an investigative reporter, Sanef said in a statement on Saturday.
During his time at City Press, Lubisi served as a senior reporter, commissioning editor of the opinion and analysis section Voices, and as the paper’s ombudsman. He was a keen road runner and was often seen in the office “in particularly garish and wearing bright running shoes”.
City Press editor Mondli Makhanya described Lubisi as a “stickler for accuracy”, saying the newspaper had lost “a pillar”.
“I can’t even begin to describe the devastation we are feeling like as the City Press family,” he said in the statement.
“Lubisi struck fear into the hearts of reporters and managers alike with his unrelenting enforcement of the Press Code and media ethics. As a journalist, he could spot a news angle from afar and thus served as a pivotal voice as we put together content for the paper and our website.
“Above all, he was just a damn fine guy. He laughed, joked, talked nonsense, and brought life to our newsroom. His only major flaw was his loyalty to that gold and black team from Phefeni. He even dared to wear that team’s jersey to the office,” said Makhanya.
Sanef said the loss of such a young and vibrant life was deeply saddening. “Our deepest sympathies go out to his colleagues, friends, and family. Lubisi leaves behind his parents and three sons, Thando, Siya, and Wandile. We offer them our thoughts, prayers, and well-wishes during this dark time in their young lives.”