SABC Mpumalanga says it will be hard to find a perfect replacement for Bhengu Johnson Malope, a TV news reporter who died on Monday.
Malope was based in Nelspruit.
Born in Mbombela location in 1956, Malope was the eldest child of Ncane Shongwe and Thami Malope.
He taught at Thandulwazi School in KaNyamazane and then joined Home Affairs in the 1970s.
He worked for Radio Swazi in 1984 as a sound technician in Pretoria, and in 1995 joined Mopani - an SABC news team in Mpumalanga.
At the time of his death, Malope was an acting news editor.
"We are devastated by his loss. He was a talented journalist who did his job diligently," said SABC regional editor Isaac Masemola.
"One of his many stories that I will always remember was in 2006 when he highlighted the plight of the children of Mzinti village in Nkomazi who were studying under the trees.
"After that report, a Johannesburg company offered to build a state-of-the-art school," Masemola said.
Malope is survived by five children, two brothers and a sister.