Cape Town – As the shocking news spreads of the death of Simba Mhere, Top Billing presenter on SABC3 in a horrific car crash on Saturday morning, the South African television business and those who knew him describe his passing as “a devastating loss”.
Eight people died in the car crash in which Mhere, the son of missionary parents, was killed on Saturday morning on the N3 near the Marlboro offramp.
The driver who caused the crash will be charged with reckless driving according to the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD).Mhere was on his way to the Oliver Thambo International Airport to fly to Cape Town's J&B Met this afternoon. In 2013 Mhere was voted most stylist man in South Africa, and in 2014 favourite TV presenter."It is with terrible pain that we reflect on the passing of our beloved Simba Mhere," says Top Billing, produced by Tswelopele Productions. "We are truly heartbroken"."It is with great sadness that SABC3 received the news about the passing of Simba Mhere, presenter on SABC3's Top Billing and Presenter Search on 3," says the SABC in a statement."Our beloved colleague and friend passed away in a tragic car accident earlier today. Simba Mhere brought great character and charisma in everything he did and for that he will be sorely missed.""Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family, Simba Mhere's friends and associates, his fans, viewers of SABC3 and the rest of South Africa.""We wish to plead with the public to give the family some privacy during this sad time. SABC3 will communicate all the relevant details in due course."
'He had so many big dreams and plans'The longtime Top Billing presenter Janez Vermeiren who's worked with Mhere told Channel24 that his death is "a devastating loss".
"For us to lose a human being of that caliber is devastating. I was standing in the shower after hearing the news and going through all of the conversations we've had over the years – his dreams and aspirations. He had so many big dreams and plans that's shattered now that he's in heaven"."It's devastating to lose someone so nice. In this industry you get a lot of people who are nice to you in front of you but then not so nice when you're back is turned. Simba Mhere was nice 100% of the time. A devastating loss," says Vermeiren.The charismatic presenter was a TV natural and became a Top Billing presenter after winning the Top Billing Presenter Search in 2010 after he was chosen as the winner out of 5 000 contestants who entered.Mhere's death comes ironically just two days after a Top Billing special episode was broadcast on Thursday night, and which will be repeated on Sunday on SABC3, in which both Mhere and co-presenter Jonathan Boynton-Lee, who won in 2012, both looked back and reflected on how the show has changed their lives.
*Family, friends and Colleagues of Simba Mhere are invited to share their memories and tributes, and to light a candle for him, on his profile at Remembered.co.za.
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