Former SABC presenter Alyce Chavunduka dies at 46

A file image of Alyce Chavunduka (right) with Dunstan Masondo. (Gallo)

A file image of Alyce Chavunduka (right) with Dunstan Masondo. (Gallo)

TV and radio personality Alyce Chavunduka passed away at the weekend after she collapsed on New Year's Eve at her Johannesburg home. 

According to Nehanda Radio, the Zimbabwean news and internet radio station that broke the news online, Chavunduka's younger sister Thandiwe Chavunduka told SW Radio Africa on Monday that it was believed her 46-year-old sister collapsed on New Year's Eve at her Johannesburg home. She was found unconscious and rushed to hospital where she spent a week in a coma before her death on the weekend.

The TV personality, the station reported, was previously involved in two serious road accidents, one of which left her suffering from epileptic fits.

Chavunduka​ was the SABC's first black female television news presenter on their main channel, then called TV1,  and also hosted a radio programme called The Alyce Chavunduka Show. She also featured on Talk Radio 702 and 94.7 Highveld Stereo.​

Speaking to the Mail & Guardian, SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the broadcaster was made aware of her death on Tuesday morning.

A press release issued by the SABC states: "She played a pivotal role at a critical time where the then channel, TV 1, and indeed the whole organisation was undergoing a transformation process, as the country was carving itself into an inclusive and democratic society ...

"Her demeanour and high level of professionalism carried her through and most importantly, her contribution to the SABC and influence she had on inspiring black women to penetrate the broadcasting industry will never be forgotten."

Thandiwe Chavunduka told SW Radio Africa that Chavunduka's body would be repatriated at the end of the week and funeral arrangements are yet to be finalised.

Read more about Alyce Chavunduka and her family background when the M&G interviewed her in 1999.

Zodwa Kumalo-Valentine

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