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amaBhungane wins Vodacom's best feature award

Staff Reporter

An M&G investigative team won the prize for best feature at this year's Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards.

The Mail & Guardian‘s investigative team Sam Sole, Ilham Rawoot and Stefaans Brümmer from the non-profit arm amaBhungane, won the prize for the best feature in the national 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards.

The award was for the collection of stories on Radovan Krejcir: The mobster at the gates.

The awards were announced on Friday night at an evening ceremony in Midrand.

The collection of stories outlines Krejcir’s connections to murdered Teaser’s boss Lolly Jackson and to both the South African and Czech underworld.

The three journalists walked away with R15 000 each, a Nokia C7 handset and a weekend away at any South African Protea Hotel.

Sole said of the award: “I think it’s nice for all of us to have our work recognised by colleagues. He added: “It’s unfortunate the Krejcir story is on-going rather than having coming to conclusion.”

The 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year winners were Stephan Hofstatter and Mzilikazi wa Afrika of the Sunday Times for their story Bheki Cele’s R500m police rental deal.

Following the article, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela investigated national police commissioner General Bheki Cele and found his involvement in the leasing saga amounted to maladministration and was unlawful. On October 24, President Jacob Zuma suspended Cele on full pay pending an investigation into his actions.

The M&G also raked in the accolades for the provincial awards in the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards doing well in the online journalism and print journalism categories, and also receiving a merit mention for work done by an M&G intern.

The M&G‘s provincial winners:

  • 2011 Online journalism winners
    How Shangaan went electronic and then global
    Lauren Clifford-Holmes
    Lloyd Gedye
    Paul Botes
    Reporter Lloyd Gedye, accompanied by the M&G‘s online multimedia editor Lauren Clifford-Holmes and M&G chief photographer Paul Botes, went in search of the legends of Shangaan electro as it began taking the music genre to places it had never been before. The package was covered with videos of the fathers of Shangaan electro, as well as the Chiawelo dance competition in Soweto.
  • 2011 Print: Feature winner
    Radovan Krejcir: The mobster at the gates
    Sam Sole
    Stefaans Brümmer
    Ilham Rawoot
    The M&G‘s centre for investigative journalism amaBhungane has ceaselessly followed the investigation into strip-club kingpin Lolly Jackson’s death in May 2010. From the shooting to following leads on his alleged killer(s), amaBhungane has chased the stories that eventually led to the investigation of Czechoslovakian fugitive Rajovan Krejcir.
  • 2011 Editors Choice winners
    Lionel Faull
    Faull was selected by M&G editor-in-chief Nic Dawes as the company’s most promising young journalist. This automatically includes him in the running for the prestigious 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year award. Faull has been commended for his work since he was an intern at the M&G last year through to his current position at the amaBhungane centre. His work on the Tara KLamp resulted in the uncovering of facts that the sole distributor of the device in South Africa had links to Mandrax smuggling, is a fugitive from justice in his native Zambia, and had links to influential KwaZulu-Natal figures. His work on the Trifecta kickback scandal resulted in the fining of ANC MP Yolanda Botha of her 30 days’ salary—the maximum penalty—for not disclosing her interests. Faull also broke the story about Libya’s former leader Muammar Gaddafi’s interests in prime South African assets. Faull’s coverage of the ANC’s Umkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans’ Association’s multimillion-rand Gupta mining deal revealed the association’s treasurer general also personally benefited from the deal. The package consisted of a graphic tracking the matter and feature .
  • 2011 KwaZulu-Natal region Print Feature winner
    Niren Tolsi
    Tolsi was recognised for his body of work: On the other side of mountain; Fear and loathing in Obamaland; The cup ran over, now for the hangover. His story on the cup ran over was a critique of the World Cup and a question over who benefitted from the cup. He also wrote a column on his experience in America and the lack of freedom.
  • 2011 Western Cape region General News Category
    Glynnis Underhill
    Underhill won the provincial accolade for her series on the murder of Anni Dewani, her story on spy wars called Cele vs Mdluli and her story on a minister running up high hotel bills.
  • Merit mentions by the judging panel
    Ayanda Sitole: Locals have Soweto sewn up and I want my kids to be righteous and Rasta. Sitole started with the M&G as an intern in the beginning of 2011 and has managed to build up an impressive portfolio of work. She has been recognised for two of her pieces, one of which was the lead in the M&G‘s Friday section, and the other a news feature on Rastafarians.

National winners in 2011 Vodacom awards

  • Radio General News - Zimasa Mbewu, SABC Current Affairs, Tatane.

  • Radio Feature - Unathi Binqose, SAFM, Imfundo.

  • Financial/economic - Claire Bisseker, Financial Mail, Do or Die.

  • Sport - Sameer Naik, Saturday Star, The Best World Cup Ever.

  • Columnist - Piet Naude, EC Herald, Meetings are a waste of time.

  • Cartoonist - Jeremy Nell, New Age, Jeremy Nell Studio, Africa 2.0.

  • Photography - Mlondolozi Mbolo, Daily Dispatch, Xhosa Rite Of Passage - Intonjan.

  • Consumer Journalism - Herman Scholtz, Media24, Rapport, Frozen chicken horror.

  • Social Media in Journalism - Herman Manson: Twitter breaks news, but will it break journalism?

  • Editor’s Choice - Pieter Steyn, Media24, Die Volksblad.

  • Print Feature

  • Sam Sole, Stefaans Brümmer, Ilham Rawoot: Mail & Guardian, Radovan Krejcir: The mobster at the gates.
  • Print News

  • Stephan Hofstatter, Mzilikazi wa Afrika Sunday Times, Bheki Cele’s R500m police rental deal.
  • TV Feature

  • Asanda Magaqa, SABC News, No woman’s land.
    Liz Fish, Carte Blanche, Combined artists, Fracking in the Karoo.
  • TV News

  • Mpho Lakaje, eNews, Hate crime.
    Fathima Simjee, Health-e News Service, Morning Live, SABC, Positive Heroes.
  • Community Media

  • Faatimah Hendricks, Dorianne Arendse Voice of the Cape, The Battle of Hangberg.
  • Online

  • Eugene Coetzee, Brian Hayward, Estelle Ellis, Khanyi Ndabeni: EC Herald, Nelson Mandela Bay’s crumbling state healthcare.

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