INDABA Newsletter | July/August 2013

Networking forums

Thank you to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) for hosting the club’s networking forum at the Blue Train Lounge on 18 July. The evening was particularly well attended, most informative and enjoyed by all.

The next networking forum will be hosted by the Tshwane University of Technology on Wednesday, 28 August. Members are requested to diarise this – particulars will reach them on e-mail.

Press club shocked at death of former chairperson

The National Press Club has conveyed its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Patrick Hlahla (58), who died at his home in Atteridgeville on 4 August.

“It is with great shock and disbelief that we learnt about the untimely death of our most reliable and forever smiling friend and colleague, Patrick Hlahla,” said Chairperson Jos Charle.

Hlahla was a former chairperson of the National Press Club and a senior reporter at the Pretoria News, having covered the metro beat for more than ten years.

He died at his home after collapsing and telling his family he was not feeling well. By the time an ambulance arrived, it was too late.

“Hlahla was a consummate, award winning journalist. He had time for everyone in his life and he has helped mentor a number of journalists who have gone on to become stars in the profession. Throughout this time he remained humble and a gentleman.

“We wish Joyce, his wife, and children God’s strength at this difficult time.

“We trust that his colleagues at the Pretoria News will soldier on, knowing that Hlahla would have wanted them to continue to uphold the highest standards of reporting and integrity in their work,” Charle said.

Other reaction received include:

President Jacob Zuma has learnt with sadness of the sudden passing of former chairperson of the National Press Club, Mr Patrick Hlahla, at his home in Pretoria yesterday morning. Mr Hlahla had been a seasoned reporter for the Pretoria News, where he was also reputed for mentoring and nurturing up-and-coming journalists into full blown professionals. “We are saddened by his untimely loss. On behalf of government and the people of South Africa, we wish to convey our heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and the media fraternity. May his soul rest in peace,” said President Zuma.
President Jacob Zuma

News of the passing of Patrick has come as a shock. We are devastated. Please pass on our deepest sympathies to family, friends and colleagues. Patrick was a veteran municipal reporter and news man. He served the National Press Club with passion and dedication. He was loved by his colleagues and well respected by all. His contribution to municipal reporting will never go unnoticed. He was certainly one of the best. RIP Patrick.
Former press club chairperson Yusuf Abramjee

Dis hartverskeurend!
Former press club chairperson Amanda Visser

So sad. I’m still shocked. May his Soul Rest in Peace. Sobbing!!!
Seipati Sentle

Former chairperson Patrick Hlahla.

What a shock!
Chantelle Gradidge

It was indeed shocking and sad news to hear of Patrick’s untimely death. As an outstanding journalist, as a member and while chairperson of the National Press Club he was always enthusiastic to meet with and speak to students and support projects of the journalism department of the Tshwane University of Techology (TUT). For all that and his friendly welcomes at the press club he will always be remembered. My condolences to his family and colleagues.
Pedro Diederichs (former Head of the Department of Journalism, TUT)

Robala ka Khotso Mr H

We are not in this world permanently. At least this is what the death of a stalwart el professor in the journalistic world, Patrick “Mr H” Mola Hlahla reminded me yesterday after a call from one Ben Rootman. I could not for the life of me think that Bra Pat will be spoken about in past tense. He was full of life, a jolly good fellow with a readily available smile. Bra Pat would single me out from the many young chaps at the press club and say Rey is the only one that will announce his arrival in Atteridgeville whenever he is my hood. He would go on and say you have not been in Phelindaba in a little while, you don’t phone anymore.

I recently had the pleasure of travelling with Bra Pat to Mokala National Park outside Kimberley with a fellow photographer Phil Magakoe. On our way back, me behind the wheel and Phil on my left and Bra Pat insisted on sitting at the back telling us how he crisscrossed the country in the 80’s covering the news. He said the comfort of the car we were travelling in was unheard of during their time. In his own words “I love the South Africa we live in today.” He told us how careful they had to be because the political outlook in the country then saw journalists as the state’s enemy number one.

In Kimberley Bra Pat insisted on seeing the offices of the Diamond Field Advertiser, Pretoria News’ sister publication and took a picture of the building using his cellphone. He was grateful to know where the DFA was and thanked me endlessly for allowing him the opportunity. Like many who have passed through his hands, Bra Pat was one of the first people I interacted with in my first year of my career. In those years Bra Pat would offer me a lift to my apartment in Arcadia after many functions of the National Press Club – a favour I returned many years after.

I served with him on the National Press Club executive committee where he later became the chairperson, where in his tenure the membership numbers grew. This pointed to his ability to unite people.

On behalf of the South African National Parks I would like to convey our deepest condolences to Patrick’s family, friends and all his colleagues at Independent Newspapers. May the good Lord be with you in this darkest hour.

Robala ka Khotso Mr H – you have run the cause, all that is left is the crown of victory.

Reynold “Rey” Thakhuli

Durban edition of The Witness from mid-August

One of South Africa’s oldest newspapers, The Witness founded in 1846, is about to expand with a fully-fledged Durban edition from its present edition, covering Pietermaritzburg, the Midlands and surrounds.

Seen as South Africa’s second-largest economic growth point, the Durban edition will offer advertisers access to the ‘New South African’ demographic (LSM 7-10).

The distribution base includes a dense network of street sales, newsagent sales and a subscription base that Ads24 intends to extend on an ongoing basis.

See you at emBARgo

Members are reminded about happy hour at the press club bar emBARgo, every Friday from 17:00 to 19:00. The bar is in the cellar of the Orange Restaurant in the Court Classique Hotel, corner of Beckett and Francis Baard (previously Schoeman) Streets, Arcadia.

Thank you for paying membership fees

Thank you to those press club members who have already paid their membership fees for 2013.

Members who have not yet done so, are requested to pay their fees as soon as possible.

Membership fees are R220 for full members, R350 for associate members and R150 for student members.

Members are requested to use their invoice number as reference when payment is done, so that it can be picked up easily by the secretariat.


Please send any news, suggestions or information for this newsletter to Martin van Niekerk at the secretariat on, 082 257 0305. Website | Facebook | Twitter