Tributes have poured in from many quarters, including former colleagues and parliament, for eNCA cameraman Lungile Tom, who died on Wednesday after contracting the coronavirus.
“Through his sharp eye and knowledge of Parliament, Mr Tom brought the often-intricate workings of the institution to many South African homes,” parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said in a statement.
“His news footage demonstrated remarkable passion, experience and creativity. He spent time in the corridors of Parliament and, with patience, humility and passion, highlighted the happenings of Parliament to the people.”
Tom, 45, died on Wednesday morning.
He was admitted to hospital on Sunday, with coronavirus symptoms, and his results were confirmed on Tuesday night, the news channel said in a communique.
Tom, who had been with eNCA since December 2013, previously worked at CNBC Africa.
Former colleague Leigh-Anne Jansen said she was devastated by Tom’s death.
“Lungile and I had an extremely tight bond and shared deep moments. My heart is broken, but I am honoured to have known him.”
Talk show host and former eNCA reporter Lester Kiewit described Tom as a protector of many young reporters.
“A tender, older-brother figure, whose physical size made you feel safe and secure, no matter where we were reporting from.”
He marvelled at Tom’s snappy dress sense, Kiewit said, recalling that he was always dressed to the nines, whether covering parliament or protests.
“Lungile was the heart of the camera team when I was at eNCA. He was larger than life, in presence and in spirit. Our conversations while on assignment primarily focused on family. His adoration of his mother, his love for his children. He told stories of his early life, and how adulthood helped him find focus.”
The ANC in parliament said the coronavirus pandemic had robbed the media industry of one of its most dedicated cameramen.
“Lungile was passionate and dedicated to his work. We would often see him with his colleagues in and around the parliamentary precinct, capturing and timeously reporting the work of parliament”, said ANC chief whip Pemmy Majodina.
“He will always be remembered for his work ethic and friendly personality.”