The lion roars no more, as Poloko Tau dies in peace!

I came to cross paths with ‘PK’ as we uncharacteristically referred to him, shared drinks (he surely enjoyed his cold beer) and engaged on any topic that mattered in the country- be it human or controversial, many moons ago.

Accompanied by his infectious smile, puffing his ‘white-stick’ he’d talk until ‘cows came home’.

Yes, he loved reporting on agricultural matters, exposed graft, amongst others.

A dedicated young-man, he loved his job and did it with aplomb.

At times I would drop him a text or call especially with some of the contacts in the North West, in wee hours of the morning, and gladly so- would help where possible.

He loved traveling and last year returned from an international conference as media guest of the department of environmental and forestry.   

My last interaction with ‘PK’ was late last year when he told me he was driving to Mahikeng (hometown) to enjoy a cold drink (yes I knew what he was referring to).

Yes, we were going to have a jol at his 42nd birthday that was meant to be held this coming weekend, alas, we will be laying this gentle giant to his resting place. His celestial view.

Mondli Makhanya, City Press editor in chief, said “This is not just a loss for the family and City Press. It is a loss for South African journalism. Poloko told stories that mattered to all, and he did so in the most empathetic way.”

“Journalist’s journalist,” is how Makhanya, described his untimely passing.

A friend and colleague Norman Masungwini said it’s surreal what has just happened.

“One of the kind, forever smiling and very articulate in his reporting. PK respected his craftwork. He shall be missed,” says Masungwini.

In a press release, the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) said Poloko told undiscovered, untold stories while writing them as humanely as possible. He was also talented in writing about the myriad of challenges to service delivery issues facing most municipalities across the country.

SANEF joins the family, journalism fraternity and friends as we mourn Poloko’s passing.

Sbu Ngalwa, SANEF’s chairperson, said: “We are saddened and devastated by Poloko’s passing. He was a talented writer and rare gem, mostly when it came to telling the human story. These are the kind of stories that changed lives and were written emphatically by a journalist not only wanting to write a story, but to write one that would bring change.”

SANEF extends its deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues.

He was found dead at home in Mmabatho, Mahikeng, North West Province, on Friday afternoon.

His younger brother, Onkemetse Tau, said the family was devastated by his sudden death and disclosed that Poloko died a week before his 42nd birthday.

Further details on burial service will be communicated at later stage.

Tau, go and roar with others on the other side of life- lion, as his last name refers!

Robalang ka ntho madi a tshologo boTau. Robala boroko.

Good night my FRIEND!

Image (Shall be missed my friend. Poloko Tau rest eternally in Peace).

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