Jovial Rantao, editor of the Sunday Independent and deputy editor of The Star, has been elected new chairperson of the South African National Editors Forum, write Judy Lelliott and Jackie Bischof

Rantao was elected after an hour and a half of discussion during which
a number of people declined nominations to stand. These included Mondli
Makhanya, editor of the Sunday Times, Thabo Leshilo, editor of The
Sowetan and Henry Jeffreys, editor of Die Burger.

Jeffreys consented to take the position of deputy-chair after much
persuasion from other members of the council. Mary Papayya, Durban
bureau chief of the Sowetan, was elected as the secretary general and
Juanita Williams was elected as treasurer.

Rantao thanked the council for placing their confidence in him and the
new team, saying that there was much to be done. “We come at a crucial
time and we have a clear programme to carry on the task as the previous

Rantao replaces outgoing chair, Ferial Haffajee, editor of the Mail & Guardian, who declined to stand for a second term.