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Tuesday, 30 May 2023 15:59

Author, broadcaster Eusebius McKaiser passes away aged 45.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Renowned broadcaster, Political Analyst and Author Eusebius McKaiser has died on Tuesday at the age 45, after suffering a suspected epileptic seizure.

McKaiser's death was confirmed by his manager, Jackie Strydom.

"I am so distraught. I can't believe this."

Born in Makhanda, also known as Grahamstown, in 1978, McKaiser studied law and philosophy at Rhodes University.

His biography on the Rhodes University website said, He first enrolled at Rhodes University in 1997 to study towards a BA in law and philosophy. An Honours and then a Masters in philosophy, both with distinction, followed prior to him being selected on a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University.

"McKaiser was a political activist and an associate political and social analyst at the Wits Centre for Ethics where he participated in research that examined the relationship between civil society and the state in the policy arena, particularly in the light of the changing post-Polokwane political landscape."

"His media contributions have appeared in the New York Times, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, Sunday Times, Sunday Independent, City Press, Newsweek International, BBC Focus on Africa, The New Republic, Financial Mail, and Destiny Man among others. He has also hosted a weekly politics and morality talk show on Talk Radio 702, the Talk at Nine Show, and he presented on Interface on SABC3."

"Previously he was an associate at leading international management consulting firm  McKinsey and Company. He worked in areas ranging from climate change to organisation and operational efficiency studies in state-owned enterprises. He also helped to develop a firm perspective on global demand forecasts for certain commodities. He regularly briefed corporate clients, including investment houses, on political risk assessments of the South African political environment"

McKaiser was not only a broadcaster, political analyst, but a writer.

His first book, a collection of essays entitled 'A Bantu In My Bathroom' became a best-seller and went on to sell over 10 000 copies in under a year.

His second book, 'Could I vote DA?' was an evaluation of the Democratic Alliances' chances at the elections.

McKaiser was a thorn to authority, he was a force who questioned aggressively, firmly and incisively, speaking truth to power.

Tributes have poured in for the much-loved broadcaster

Veteran social justice activist and friend Mark Heywood says McKaiser's sudden death is a terrible shock. 

"Eusebius was a very larger-than-life person, whose presence was sometimes like it was everywhere through his podcasts and his social media presence. 

"He was a friend of mine and I think he was an innovative broadcaster and a very great thinker. Someone who, in certain key areas of life, was at the forefront of thinking about our conditions as a country."

President Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, said he was "a brilliant mind".

"I followed his work, and I enjoyed his shows and interviews when he was at 702," Magwenya said.

"He brought his own signature style to the radio. Condolences to his family, friends and colleagues."

The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) has also passed its sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of broadcaster, writer and political commentator McKaiser.

"This is a deeply sad moment for the communications sector in our country, including government communicators with whom Eusebius McKaiser interacted on many platforms," said GCIS Acting Director-General Michael Currin.

Currin said McKaiser's untimely death has robbed his family and his audiences of someone who lived life large and who was a forthright public voice against discrimination, inequality, prejudice and corruption.

"He was passionate about changing the lives of people, and leveraged every communication channel at his disposal to have his fearless say on matters of public interest and to create spaces where fellow citizens could express themselves.

"Eusebius was a close and critical student of our socio-political landscape and his contribution to our understanding of society will be missed," Currin said.

In one of his last posts on Twitter, McKaiser urged his followers to watch Musa Motha's recent performance on Britain's Got Talent.