Max Du Preez scoops Nat Nakasa Award

Three decades of controversial, opinionated and pro-South African journalism by Max Du Preez was recognised in Johannesburg on Saturday when the South African National Editors’ Forum and the Nieman Society awarded him the prestigious Nat Nakasa Award for fearless writing.

The award is in memory of the Drum magazine writer Nat Nakasa whose outspoken writing in the early 1960’s riled apartheid South Africa and who died in exile in New York.

Nakasa was awarded a Niemann Fellowship in 1964 to study journalism at Harvard College in the United States. However, the government rejected his application for a passport. As a result, he was forced to leave South Africa on an exit permit which meant that he could not return.

In accepting the award, Du Preez said it was an honour to be associated with Nakasa.

He made an appeal to media owners and publishers “in these special times” politically in South Africa to make resources available for editors and reporters to do their jobs better.

Independent Democrats leader Patricia de Lille, speaking at the awards function said it was important in the current political situation that “media freedom needs to be placed above party politics.

“The media must speak truth to power,” she said. - Sapa


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