In a show of respect, a host of journalists, including Sowetan Editor Thabo Leshilo and City Press editor Mathatha Tsedu, abandoned the ANC conference in Polokwane, Limpopo, yesterday to pay their last respects at the funeral of a late Sowetan staff member.
Although the funeral of Masindi Mulomoni was attended by a few family members, it was one of the few funerals attended by journalists and editors of two of the biggest newspaper companies in the country.
Mulomoni died early last week but was only found on Saturday in a sitting position in her RDP house in Extension 71, just outside Seshego near Polokwane.
Family relatives said Mulomoni was found dead on a chair on Saturday morning.
The autopsy from the mortuary indicates that she died of heart- related problems.
Mulomoni joined Sowetan in the late 1980s in the newspaper's Polokwane office when Mathatha Tsedu was still the bureau chief of Sowetan in the regional office.
Some of the journalists who worked with Mulomoni at the regional office included Don Seokane, Khathu Mamaila, Makhudu Sefara, Selby Makgotho and Frank Maponya, to mention just a few.
She was a single mother who came to Polokwane from the Vhembe area in the early 1980s for work. Since then, the healthy environment in the province's capital and the Sowetan staff grounded her.
Mulomoni was employed as a contract worker by Sowetan. As a cleaner at the newspaper's offices, she groomed a lot of young journalists. As such, Sowetan felt it would only be proper to pay for all her funeral costs.
Leshilo described Mulomoni as a hard-working person who mothered a host of media giants from Limpopo.
"I have personally met with Mulomoni twice during my visit to the Polokwane office, but I can tell without any shadow of a doubt that each time I visited the office, I was able to feel her presence because of the cleanliness of the office, said Leshilo.
Tsedu, who was the programme director and family spokesman, thanked Sowetan for the effort it displayed in giving Mulomoni a good send-off.
Tsedu advised the family to be united and take care of each other.