Zimbabwe-born Alice Chavunduka, who was the first black newsreader on South African TV (former TV1), died on Sunday in a Johannesburg hospital after suffering an epileptic seizure, according to various media reports.
Chavunduka (46) also worked for Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, as well as for South Africa’s Talk Radio 702 and 94.7 Highveld Stereo.
The sassy and good-looking broadcaster, who also wrote a few books on traditional medicine, was reportedly involved in two serious road accidents, one of which left her suffering from epileptic fits, Zimeye reported. Her sister Thandiwe was quoted as saying by SW Africa that Alice collapsed on New Year’s Eve, and then rushed to hospital.
Her former colleague, fellow SABC broadcast journalist Peter Ndoro, paid tribute to her in an earlier radio interview today, and described her professionalism as ‘effortless’, eNews Channel said on its website.
Another former colleague, Dan Tsakani Moyane, also had fine words for her, saying on Twitter that “Chavunduka was exemplary in her work, smart and dedicated professional”.
She was the daughter of Professor Gordon Chavunduka, who served as vice chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe from 1992 to 1996 before retiring, news reports said.
It remains unclear whether she was married or left any children. Her body will be repatriated to the Zimbabwean capital Harare this week.
Photo: Alice Chavunduka in her shining days. Credit: Gallo Images/City Press/Sipho Maluka/eNCA