Veteran journalist, columnist and former editor of the Rand Daily Mail Allister Sparks has died.
His son, Michael, said in a media statement that Sparks, 83, had passed away at Morningside clinic on Monday, News24 reported.
He contributed greatly to political analysis in SA with his insightful At Home and Abroad column in Business Day. He was editor of the Rand Daily Mail when it broke the so-called Muldergate story in the late 1970s.
Business Day editor Tim Cohen said on Monday night: “Allister Sparks has for as long as I can remember been a grand institution of South African journalism as an editor, as a commentator and as an author. Sometimes controversial but always reasoned, he captured the best of the liberal voice in SA as a torchbearer for integrity and humanity. We will miss him terribly as a columnist at Business Day, and SA will miss the straight-from-the-heart missives that helped, in their own incremental way, to build a new country”
According to Michael, he succumbed to an infection after 12 days in hospital.
“It seemed as though he was getting over the infection over the past few days and he took less medication. The old soldier’s body could simply not go on.”
Sparks’s four sons, Michael, Simon, Andrew and Julian, spent his last days with him, according the statement.
A memorial is being planned for Friday October 14 at 11.00 at the Braamfontein Crematorium.