Thank you, Stephanie, for all your years of commitment to The Witness, most especially the three years of your editorship, ending on Tuesday, October 31, 2023.
As a journalist and editor you have steadfastly remained true to the cardinal virtue of protecting the freedom of the press; something for which this daily newspaper has been honoured throughout the abhorrent years of apartheid when this moral imperative required considerable courage to speak out against the forces of darkness.
Your time as editor has demonstrated your personal fearlessness in publishing and highlighting issues political, social, educational, environmental, religious, feminist, sexually alternative, which have frequently drawn criticism — often even vitriolic condemnation — refusing to back down or to apologise for exposing and challenging intolerant, harmful views expressed by too many in our society.
Such willingness to engage with controversial topics is not always maintained by many news outlets, for fear of losing readership by publishing unpopular opinion pieces and letters.
You, and the vast majority of other honourable editors of this, the oldest continuously published newspaper in South Africa, have, as you point out in “My Swansong” (The Witness, October 28) navigated and recorded the history of this city for 177 years.
May this proud tradition continue, despite all obstacles.
We will miss you, Steph.
Go well into the future.
Alleyn Diesel and Mary Kleinenberg