Sat, 06 Jun 2020

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) says it is saddened to learn of the death of veteran journalist Juby (Zubeida) Mayet.

Mayet died on Tuesday at the age of 82.

"Born in Freitas (Vredesdorp) in 1937, Mayet, a founder and treasurer of the Union of Black Journalists (UBJ), was detained for four months under the apartheid government's Internal Security Act and banned for five years, suffering continued police harassment and surveillance," Sanef said in a statement.

The editors' forum said former colleague and press ombudsman Joe Thloloe also paid tribute to this "giant of South African journalism" and "freedom writer" who stood shoulder to shoulder with the male counterparts of her time.

Mayet has written for a range of publications, including City Post, Drum, The Voice, as well as in the UBJ Bulletin Asizuthula and The Worker.

She was also a member of the Writers' Association of South Africa, Sanef said.

"Juby was a member of the elite Drum journalists that included the Can Thembas, the Casey Motsisis, the Es'kia Mphahleles, Bloke Modisanes and other leading lights of black journalism. When I worked with her at Post and Drum, what struck me most was the way she refused to be detached from the subjects of her stories. She felt their pain," Thloloe said.

Sanef said Mayet will be remembered for her contribution to journalism at a time when there were few women in the profession.

"She covered the big stories - including that of the famous 'Drum Decade' of the 1950s," Sanef said in the statement. "She witnessed the 1955 adoption of the Freedom Charter; she was in the field covering the Sharpeville massacre in 1960 and she witnessed the rise of the Black Consciousness Movement of the 1970s."

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