Hundreds gather to honour Nat Nakasa

2014-09-13 14:08

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu and SA National Editors’ Forum executive director Mathatha Tsedu were among those who attended the memorial service of anti-apartheid journalist Nat Nakasa in Durban.

Hundreds of people, including Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, numerous well-known local personalities and Nakasa’s family, arrived at Durban’s city hall for the memorial service this morning.

Nakasa died after falling from a building in New York in an apparent suicide in 1965. He was 28. He was buried at the city’s Ferncliff Cemetery, until his exhumation earlier this year.

Later today, Nakasa is expected to be buried in Chesterville’s Heroes Acre.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa was expected to give the keynote address at the memorial service.

Tributes were paid to the late journalist by Mchunu and well-known businessperson Don Mkhwanazi, who urged the eThekwini Metro Municipality to rename a street after Nakasa.

Tsedu said the reburial of Nakasa showed that government and the media could work together.

He praised Nakasa’s sister Gladys Mazibuko for being unwavering in her love and efforts to bring Nakasa back.

The ceremony was preceded by a procession of his coffin through Chesterville in Durban, where Nakasa originally came from.

Anti-apartheid journalist Nathaniel Nakasa’s remains arrived at Durban’s King Shaka International Airport last month.

Nakasa worked for publications including Drum magazine, the Rand Daily Mail, and Ilanga newspapers.

He was forced to leave South Africa on an exit visa when the apartheid government refused to grant him a passport after he was awarded a Nieman Fellowship at the Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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