Monday, May 20, 2013

SABC CEO Lulama Mokhobo on Vuyo Mbuli's death: 'Today is the most difficult day I've ever had at the SABC.'

Lulama Mokhobo, SABC CEO, says "today is the most difficult day I've ever had at the SABC."

Lulama Mokhobo appeared and spoke this morning on Morning Live on SABC2, the South African public broadcaster's flagship breakfast TV show following the unexpected and shocking death of Morning Live co-anchor Vuyo Mbuli from a heart attack on Saturday.

A memorial service will meanwhile be held at the SABC on Wednesday for Vuyo Mbuli whose funeral will be on Friday.

A solemn and sullen looking Lulama Mokhobo said "when you have to about somebody who so dear to all, who still had so much to give. I've watched Vuyo's star rise since 1999 and I marvelled at the man's ability just to talk about any topic. At how under tremendous pressure he still presented a smile. He still would take a moment to joke."

"His depth, work understanding and knowledge of South Africa is unparalleled. It's sad that we only acknowledge people only after they've passed."

"Leanne, you and your colleagues on the floor today, management at this broadcaster, thank you. Thank you for who you are. For the dedication you have. It's hard without speaking without tears in my eyes. And I know I should be strong to present this figure, but it's hard to be like that when you deal with somebody who was one of you. And who was so incredibly dedicated as a professional," said Lulama Mokhobo.

"He leaves a tremendous legacy and I think for the young people who have watched him and followed him, it's a time to potentially say 'I could be the next Vuyo. I could do better. I would love to sit next to Leanne and be a legend that Leanne already is herself without ever replacing Vuyo but honouring him in my role as a journalists, as an anchor, as somebody who was completely fearless," said Lulama Mokhobo.

"The SABC, staff, every single one of us as I walked in this morning ... people were in tears. We are all devastated. We have to be strong for the family. We have to be strong for South Africa. And as we say in this industry, 'The show must go on'. We must continue doing our news, informing and entertaining to the best of our ability," said Lulama Mokhobo.

"I was with the family yesterday. There is a plan for a service here at the SABC on Wednesday. We will inform the public when we get the detail. The funeral is on Friday."

ALSO READ: Vuyo Mbuli dead after heart attack.
ALSO READ: Leanne Manas 'devastated' over death of co-anchor Vuyo Mbuli; stunned and shocked SABC executives react: ''Vuyo had to so much to give - still."
ALSO READ: SABC runs an on-air, in memoriam tribute card to Vuyo Mbuli after his shock death on all three SABC channels.
ALSO READ: A sad Leanne Manas remembers Vuyo Mbuli: "I feel like I've lost my morning husband."