SABC Senior Journalist Lehana Tsotetsi retires after 39 years

SABC Senior Journalist Lehana Tsotetsi retires after 39 years



while in news from our very own newsroom senior s ABC News political reporter Lee Hanna so THC is hanging up the mic after nearly 40 years at the broadcaster he joined the s ABC back in 1980 and has covered a number of historic moments in the country's road to democracy between 1993 and 1996 he was based in London as the s ABCs correspond day and today Wow it's his final day at the s ABC and he joins us now live in studio to talk to us more Liana thank you very much indeed for coming through how are you feeling at this very moment 39 years it's been a long walk here yeah we really worked hard it's been it's been tough and it's been exciting either adeptly had all its ups and down yeah yeah yeah I remember when we started 1980 we started in radio right and then there was the idea that they were going to start TV two and three mmm three and then we 1981-82 it started but before then we're taking in four for training yeah broadcast journalism right yeah and then when it started in 1982 we hit the ground running I mean when you go back all those years I was actually telling my my child a few days ago programming TV used to stopped programming used to stop and these two have this this test pattern this ABC test pattern coming up I mean all those years later when you look at your career all those years later what stands out for you well I think what stands out for me now could be the kind of interviews that I did yeah it's been a very very difficult sometimes easy but some very dangerous take for instance the interview that I did with the den rebel guy Lorraine Kunda yes who was based in the DRC right in the bush it's almost about an hour to from gamma so through my contacts are managed to get this guy who at the time was under the international warrant of arrest right yeah so we got the guy we did the interview but it was so scary because it was staged to ask him a question of are you using children as soldiers and giving them drugs when I could see these are children behind him with rocket launchers and ak-47 I was a bit scared but I had well let me ask because I'm here already well another one which was not really a good one which I never want to talk so much about it was when we went to Angola during the elections we just a super me that's right at the time the Americans were supporting Savimbi right so we went there we interviewed Savimbi and then after the interview there was a decision amongst us journalists era we should go or not I don't say no we can leave tomorrow I said no we should leave today and then we left then we went into the flight I think it was a few minutes so so after I had a loud bang and when I looked on my right to the propeller shaft it was like vibrating and falling into pieces the engine and one guy on my left he was from German television said we have been short right then then when he said that that's when I saw the smoke coming out from the cockpit coming down and at the time the flight was now going down right on and it was it was hell inside we were all trying to go up in the luggage and the flight was going down language just cut the story short eventually it come it hit the tree unless it hit this loud hit the tree I remember in Wiles it was coming down and it hit a tree it was almost all the pieces work area and when it came to a stop and then the pilot was dead at the time and just half his body was outside bent vicious and there was fire and okay that was yeah yeah that was then and how does that that incident it's incredible when you talk about your a plane crashes of IVA lived to tell the tale how does that change a person's life well and it was very difficult because immediately thereafter I was posted to London right so it meant I had to take a flight again from Java to London but I informed the the air hostesses my problem because each time there were turbulences out sweat and then out all the people next to me tight and then they would explain to them that this guy's got this kind of problem and every time I was with my family when we went there right yeah psychologically it affects you does it so affect you no not at all now because I went I had to go through British Airways cancelling and Virgin Airlines considering and it worked it helped me in here to be able to to be able to fly again yeah you've been through a lot you've seen a lot you've brought scared you know dance cards of stories that have changed the the face of South Africa almost you know some few stories over the number of years we in this 24-hour news cycle now where it's all about the number of clicks you get you've got social media as well playing apart good or bad you know you could go either way how is the industry the journalism industry changed over the years I think it has changed a great deal especially if you think from start first by using the equipment that the typewriters and you had to use the ink and all there and to tablets today and you know and then they're reporting itself here and during our times there were restrictions yeah you know we couldn't say certain things you couldn't say certain things but now I mean journalists can go to town but at least even what is available now then you have to be responsible this is journalists you know yeah you have to be responsible that's one thing show right even if you will we talk of sources make sure that what do you say it's exactly what it's right and credibility is key once you lose credibility in in the public space it's very very hard to restore that so facts facts Matt is that how have you maintained that over the years I've always tried by all means not to be sensational right to go there and report what I see and give the real facts of how this is things turning around and just not to add anything that I think might spice the story but to write what it's on the ground and what is happening and to show commitment because I knew that every study that I do it's my reputation and integrity at stake so I have to do the best and to do the best of my ability yeah we hear about self looting this ethics inquiry as well do you think it's needed nowadays well in terms of lining up good ethics in journalism you need to to have such a thing yeah yeah what do you what's your advice to those youngsters sitting at home its youth month.we you know at the tail end of youth men thinking to get into this crazy world of journalism broadcast journalism especially what's your advice to them my advice to them is that journalism is not about money yeah yeah and that's the bigness this is a profession where you have to build yourself you have to show commitment and you have to be honest yeah and you have to make sure that you don't want to do what lianna did yeah you have to have your own way of doing things so that you become a unique in your own style yeah so most importantly is showing commitment and to be absolutely honest right here what's next for you Ellie Hannah the next chapter of your life I'm sure you'll still have that itch to be in the know what's what's lined up well for now I'm I've just been turning around with putting on paper part of my life right oh yeah that's right and I'll start working on it and thereafter I'll get a cue from I'm in the way xed we should go yeah I guess they're happy that they'll have you now because this this journalism industry it's 24/7 isn't it you can take a break – most of my time but I'm happy now that it is come to an end yeah yeah just finally which person at the SABC that you would never want to see again [Laughter] yeah you have strengthen the chops of the sabc your quality journalist your name and your face is synonymous with s ABC News and we wish you nothing but the best and God bless thank you so much to all my colleagues thank you so much for supporting me it's been a very good journey that I travelled with you thank you thank you thank you ah there we go but a sweet memory such experience such quality work lejana has produced over the years that was our very own senior political reporter lejana so Ted see there who is going on retirement today is his last day at the corporation and we wish him nothing but the best thank you very much indeed all right who's got some breaking news now convict

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