Friends and colleagues are mourning the untimely passing on Monday of the highly regarded former editor of the Pretoria News, Valerie Boje.
The National Press Club (NPC) executive and its members have learned “with shock of the sudden passing of its chairperson Val Boje after a short hospitalisation”.
Boje passed away in the hospital in Pretoria on Monday morning, having undergone a minor heart procedure.
Boje was elected chairperson of the NPC about two years ago.
At the time of her death, she was part of the team organising the annual Percy Qoboza Memorial Lecture to be held on 19 October, Black Wednesday.
NPC general manager Jos Charle said Boje brought her experience and wide network of contacts to enhance the activities of the club.
“Having been colleagues for more than 25 years, I came to know Val as a passionate, professional person who threw all her being into whatever she was assigned to do.
“This is indeed a profound loss.
“The NPC would like to offer condolences to her husband, Roy Devenish, son John, daughter-in-law Carli, daughter Christine, both of whom are overseas, her doting parents, her grandchildren and to the members of the National Press Club.”
The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) joined the media and communications sector in “mourning the passing of a veteran journalist” Boje.
“GCIS wishes to express its condolences to her family, friends, colleagues in the media and communication sector as well as the National Press Club members,” said the government communications entity.
“The GCIS worked closely with Val in both her previous role as the editor of the Pretoria News as well as the chairperson of the National Press Club.
“As government communication, we have lost one of the most professional and dedicated journalists.
“She understood that at times the media and government needed to collaborate in order to better serve the people of South Africa and she was always ready to do that.
“May her departed soul rest in peace.”
The South African National Parks (SANParks) said it was “deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Val Boje”.
SANParks General Manager: Media, PR & Stakeholder Relations, Rey Thakhuli said: “Our condolences are with her family, friends and the National Press Club at this time.”
Thakhuli added: “Boje was a well-known figure in the South African media world and was passionate about informing the public. She led with resilient determination and was an inspiration to many journalists around the country.”
Thakhuli said Boje published many conservation stories.
“She emphasised the importance of tourism and tourism development in South Africa through her words,” said Thakhuli.
“She was a regular guest at several SANParks media excursions and loved visiting the national parks around the country in her free time.
“The world and South Africa is a poorer place due to her loss. She will be sorely missed and we wish to express our condolences once again to her family and friends.”