Veteran journalist, Karima Brown, died on the morning of 04 March 2021 at the age of 54 from covid related complications. At the time of her death, Karima was a journalist at eNCA presenting The Fix. Karima was in hospital for some weeks before her death.
Speaking on behalf of eNCA, editor, John Bailey, said that Karima was a fearless and brave journalist who fought hard against injustice and she would never back down. She possessed vast knowledge of current affairs and was always close to the ground on South African issues. Karima was also a presenter on Talk Radio 702 presenting the Karima Brown Show. Speaking on behalf of 702 Clive Moagi said that Karima was a dedicated presenter and she always arrived long before the start of her show to prepare for the show.
Former Minister of Intelligence and ANC veteran, Ronnie Kasrils, as well as Karima’s former colleagues, paid tribute to Karima at her funeral on 04 March 2021 and they labelled her as a journalist who dedicated her life to ensuring justice for all.
A former colleague, Eusebius McKaiser, remembered Karima as a journalist who was committed to accountability and believed that journalism should bring about change in society, while Minister of Public Works, Patricia de Lille remembered Karima as a journalist who always reminded public representatives of their role in terms of the constitution of South Africa. The South African government also passed their condolences to the family and said that Karima’s death was a loss to the entire nation.
Na’eem Jeenah, director of the Afro-Middle East Centre said that Karima was committed to a unified and just South Africa where there would be no theft and corruption.
Karima was born in Cape Town in 1967. Her father, Achmat Semaar was a community activist in Mitchell’s Plain on the Cape Flats and Karima followed in his footsteps at a very early age when she became a member of the Cape Youth Congress (CAYCO). She subsequently joined the United Democratic Front while studying at the University of the Western Cape. In later years Karima was a member of the African National Congress (the ANC), which is the ruling party in South Africa. She is survived by her son Mikhail Brown and brother Zain.
Karima would best be remembered for taking the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) to task for publicly attacking her and hurling threats and insults at her on social media in 2019 as a result of an article she published, including threats by supporters that they would rape her. EFF leader, Julius Malema, denounced the people who made these threats as criminals and called on law enforcement agencies to track them down and bring them to book. Karima subsequently won a court case against the party and labelled the judgment as a victory for women and for freedom of the media.