You might not immediately recognise the name Suna Venter, but you should remember the case of the SABC Eight.
She was one of the eight journalists fired from the SABC for refusing to bow to Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s policy of no longer airing footage of violent protests.
Although later reinstated, the stress of that saga, and a sustained campaign of intimidation, eventually proved too much.
The Daily Maverick reports:
The body of senior radio producer Suna Venter, one of the ‘SABC 8’ journalists, was discovered at her flat in Fairland, Johannesburg, on Thursday morning…
Venter, 32, had recently been diagnosed with a cardiac condition known as stress cardiomyopathy or “Broken Heart Syndrome”, which could cause rapid and severe heart muscle weakness.
Her firing and reinstating was just the tip of the iceberg, though, and her family’s account of the ongoing harassment and intimidation is truly frightening:
Venter was shot in the face with a pellet gun at the beginning of the year, after coming out of a restaurant in Linden, Johannesburg, while buying take-away food.
She received surgery to remove the metal pellets from her face.
Over the past year, she also received threatening messages on her phone.
“Her flat was broken into on numerous occasions, the brake cables of her car were cut and her car’s tyres were slashed. She was shot at and abducted – tied to a tree at Melville Koppies while the grass around her was set alight,” her family said.
During the past year, she was assaulted on three various occasions.
Tied to a tree whilst they burnt the grass around her – Jesus wept.
Piss off Hlaudi and his puppet masters and you will be relentlessly targeted. That should scare each and every South African, not just those working in media.
Suna’s list of accomplishments is lengthy, but if anyone ever doubted her desire to do good then they should have a word with her doctor:
It was revealed that Venter’s main aim had been to establish an independent newsroom, free from editorial interference, within the embattled public broadcaster…
Doctors had advised her to leave her stressful working environment but she apparently replied that she “cannot go before the battle is won”.
Let’s hope that her story shines a light on the intimidation many journalists are currently facing for speaking out against the government’s ills.
Take for example Peter Bruce, who was subjected to protesting outside his house by Black First Land First (BLF) at the behest of Gupta puppet Andile Mngxitama.
Some footage from that protest:
And then this tweet from earlier this morning, showing that the culture of intimidation won’t be slowing down.
It beggars belief how much power the Guptas wield in this country. I’d ask how it ever got this far, but if you’re greasing the palms of the corrupt few who call the shots I guess the sky is the limit.
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