Jake White and Boks named Newsmaker of the Year

Former Springbok coach Jake White and his World Cup-winning side have been named Newsmaker of the Year for 2007, the National Press Club said on Monday.

“This award is made on the grounds of impact, news value and media attention, both print and electronic,” the club’s chairperson, Patrick Hlahla, said.

He said the decision follows nominations received from club members based on the criteria of newsworthiness and the extent of media coverage received.

“The value of the Springboks’ victory in terms of nation-building in South Africa is immeasurable. By far the greatest portion of the entire South African population supported White and the Springboks as a truly national team,” Hlahla said.

“Seeing the Cabinet, members of parliament and thousands of citizens welcoming the Boks back—all dressed in Springbok jerseys—will remain in one’s mind for a very long time,” he added.

He said African National Congress president Jacob Zuma, who won the title in 2006, was the other strong contender.

The National Press Club has named Newsmakers of the Year for more than twenty years and previous recipients include President Thabo Mbeki and former presidents Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk, Charlize Theron, Zachie Achmat and the Treatment Action Campaign, the late Hansie Cronjé, the South African rand, Helen Zille and a host of other prominent South Africans.

The Springboks were also the title holders after their 1995 World Cup win and again in 1998.—Sapa

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