Awards: ‘Witness’ in top 10

2015-03-28 00:00

THE Witness has been honoured as a finalist for the second year running in South Africa’s premier investigative journalism competition.

At a ceremony in Johannesburg yesterday, a major series published in The Witness — “Inside SA’s R10 billion cable theft racket” by chief reporter Rowan Philp — was listed among the country’s 10 best of 2014 by judges at the Taco Kuiper Awards.

A team from the Witness’s sister paper City Press took the R200 000 winner’s prize for an outstanding investigation that showed how corruption was destroying South Africa’s education system, in a series entitled “How Sadtu sells posts”.

Last year, in what the panel described as “a strong contender from a regional newcomer, The Witness”, the KZN paper was recognised for its series on corruption surrounding the collapse of the Tongaat Mall, “Jay Singh Uncovered”.

Philp produced some 30 stories on cable theft in 2014, which exposed both the inner workings of the illegal copper trade and the syndicates behind it, and the failure of law enforcement agencies to stop it.

Philp said: “It’s fantastic that TheWitness has emerged as the one regional paper which consistently competes at this level with heavyweight investigative teams at national print and TV news organisations.

“I feel honoured to be recognised on the shortlist, among such distinguished journalists. As we were able to show, cable theft now affects everyone, with 159 serious thefts each day costing billions to the economy nationally.”

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