Nathi Mthethwa to bring Nat Nakasa’s remains back to SA

2014-08-12 14:41

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Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa has led a delegation to the United States to bring back the remains of renowned journalist Nat Nakasa.

The Supreme Court of the State of New York had granted permission for Nakasa’s remains to be returned to South Africa, said department spokesperson Sandile Memela.

“The South African government has been involved in the efforts to return Nakasa’s remains to home soil for the past two years ... The department is proud to play a leading part in the efforts to bury Nat Nakasa’s remains on home soil.”

Earlier reports suggested that Nakasa would be buried at Heroes’ Acre in Chesterville, KwaZulu-Natal.

Nakasa, a prolific young black voice who exposed the devastation of apartheid in his writing, 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 Harvard University.

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.

Memela said the arts and culture department, in partnership with the South African National Editors’ Forum and Drum Magazine, would run a Nat Nakasa essay competition from August 15 to September 12.

Three journalism students would win three-month long journalism internships at participating South African media houses during the course of 2015.

To qualify, students needed to submit a 600-word essay explaining how the work of Nat Nakasa had inspired them to be the best in their field.

The winners would be announced at his memorial service on September 12.

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