RIP Sipho Mthembu
Posted: 25 August 2009 Time: 16:49
Football journalism in this country today lost one of its key players following news of the passing of Sowetan writer Sipho Mthembu.
KICK OFF Editorial Director Richard Maguire says: “When I began working full-time in football journalism in 1994, Sipho Mthembu was already on the beat. He served the Sowetan for many years and I still have fond memories of the friendly rivalry and camaraderie that existed among soccer journalists in Johannesburg in those days. “Years later, when I started to send Neil Greig on trips into Africa to cover Bafana, Sipho was one of those who took Neil under his wing and supported him. This act alone means he will always be remembered as a friend of KICK OFF, and for that we will always be grateful. Rest in peace Sipho." Former Sowetan Sports Editor Molefi Mika remembered when Mthembu joined the paper on a full-time basis, having done internship with them during his studies. “He actually had to beg me to come back and the new department also wanted him, but he chose to do it for sports. He started as an athletics reporter and even went to England for the World Cross Country Championships in 1992. There he impressed the international media and was invited to cover the World Athletics Championships two years later. “After that we moved him to football, where he made both friends and enemies, just like any other journalist. All in all he was one of the best sports journalists that South Africa had ever seen. We will greatly miss him and the gap he has left will never be filled.”