In making the announcement on behalf of the group, Takudzwa Hove, who is the group CFO and COO, says that the appointments strengthen the publications teams and will better position the title in its pursuit to provide quality news and content offerings on Sundays.
Mkhuma has more than three decades of media experience — 20 years has been spent at Independent Media — and holds various positions within the company, including executive editor for The Star
and Saturday Star
news editor. She also worked for Pretoria News
and Pretoria News Weekend
from 2006 to 2012.
She has also edited a business publication called Business Enterprise
. Additionally, she successfully coordinated the first and only SADC Editors' Conference,
which was sponsored by the Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa.
The conference dealt with issues of xenophobia, gender and the general sharing of story ideas in the region. Mkhuma also served as editorial director for a publication called The Migrant
Mkhuma says that she is looking forward to the task of growing the title's recognition as a medium where the plurality of voices is given space to be heard — irrespective of race, religion or gender — and to entrenching the paper as a source of credible news and journalism that is above reproach.
"The Sunday Independent
is an influential voice among the business, academic and political elite and an alternative narrative in the political, social and economic discourse," says Mkhuma.
"My goal is to continue the tradition of excellent investigative and informative journalism this paper has established over the years, while finding the perfect balance between embracing the digital media era and growing our online presence — [in addition to] catering to a more conventional reader who still prefers holding a hard copy of the newspaper in their hands" she adds.
"Critical to our success will be our understanding of our audiences — what they want and how they consume their news — along with a great team who will create that content," Mkhuma says. Sunday Independent
intends to highlight and help tackle issues affecting the poor, including poverty, lack of access to health facilities, youth unemployment and gender violence. It will temper this with stories that recognise African excellence across the business, social and environmental sectors.
Assisting Mkhuma will be multiple award-winning journalist Piet Rampedi. Rampedi headed up the group's investigations unit prior to this appointment. He has 17 years of mainstream journalism experience in both print and broadcasting and has worked for titles and media houses such as Sunday Independent
, The Star
, City Press
and Sunday Times
as well as SABC and eTV.
Rampedi is a recipient of several journalism awards, including CNN African Journalist of the Year
, Vodacom Journalist of the Year
(2010 and 2016), Media24 Legends
and City Press Journalist of the Year Awards
. He holds a BA communications and politics degree from Unisa.
"I am excited to re-join Sunday Independent
, a title [that] I worked for seven years ago as a specialist investigative reporter," says Rampedi. "For me, it's like coming back home. I would like to thank Independent Media for this great opportunity."
"The Sunday Independent
is an important source of information, and I am looking forward to helping take it to greater heights alongside Zingisa," concludes Rampedi.
Mkhuma and Rampedi commenced their posts on Friday, 1 November.
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