Tributes for seasoned and award winning journalist, Junior Bonase continue to pour in following his untimely death on Tuesday evening.
Bonase, 41, was a senior journalist at Dumelang News, a local publication in Bloemfontein, and also worked for several media houses across the province. Bonase’s death comes barely a week after being elected the chairperson of the Free State Media Cooperative (FSMC) – whose mandate was to empower and develop print media in the province.
Police spokesperson in the Free State, Thandi Mbambo, confirmed that the Vodacom regional journalist of the year passed away and his body was found on the N1 next to Heuningspruit on Tuesday, at around 23:00. She says the details of his death are still sketchy, as Bonase was found with injuries to his face, and investigation are underway.
A post-mortem to establish the cause of death will be conducted on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Free State Premier Sisi Ntombela has conveyed her condolences to friends, colleagues and family of Bonase, saying she is terribly saddened to hear about Bonase’s passing.
A well-known publisher and Secretary of FSMC, Lebona Lekoenea says he can’t still believe he is gone: “I was speaking to him that very night he died.”
He added that the media fraternity lost a media giant in Bonase, adding they in the industry will double their efforts to make sure the cooperative succeeds in his honour.
The funeral arrangements and memorial service are yet to be announced by the family.
Michael Tlhakudi / OFM News