Former Sowetan sports and news editor Sello Rabothata has passed away.
Sunday World was reliably informed by a close family member that Rabothata died at his home in Dalpark, Brakpan on the East Rand on Wednesday morning after a long illness.
He was 68 and retired when he met his death, having worked in the newspaper industry for close to five decades.
Rabothata joined Sowetan in the early 1980’s and was one of the three muskateers that coined the moniker Bafana Bafana for the South African national soccer team, together with the late S’bu Mseleku and Molefi Mika, also a former sports editor of Sowetan.
The Sowetan sports desk became the voice of South African football in the early 1990s and early 2000s when Rabothata was part of a team that included the likes of Ramatsiyi Moholoa, Sipho Mthembu, Mcelwa Nchabeleng, Bongani Magasela, Mika and Mseleku.
He will be remembered for his wealth of knowledge and his unbiased and robust reporting about football in the country.
In October, Rabothata published a book called Solomon Stix Morewa, The Rise and Fall, which was launched in Johannesburg.
Jacob Mawela writes in Soweto Life that accompanied by images sourced from Morewa and Matseke (Stix’s friend and founder of the Clinix Health Group, Dr Kop Matseke) – the book has been made available by MFH Publishers and sells for R300.
A pseudo memoir at face value, Rabothata’s product is written in the format of recollections of Morewa by interviewees fellow journalists Nomvula Khalo and Ali Mphaki engaged over a period of time before the culmination of the project into a book it ultimately became.
Rabothata’s offering, writes Mawela, portrays a sharply dressed figure who helmed football pending the brief era SA Football Association’s main brand, Bafana Bafana, gave working-class folk respite from their nine-to-five existences; a former Robben Island prisoner who went for curry dishes at Abdul Bhamjee’s mom’s place on Fridays; loved devouring chicken, as well as taste for gin & tonic.
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