The ‘Native of Nowhere’ comes home

2014-09-15 00:00

THE life of journalist Nat Nakasa was celebrated when his remains were reburied in Durban at the weekend.

The reburial followed the repatriation of Nakasa’s remains from the U.S.’s Ferncliff cemetery.

Nakasa was buried there in 1965.

Nakasa, who called himself a Native of Nowhere, left the country on an exit permit in 1964 when he was refused a passport, and died when he jumped to his death in New York the following year.

On Saturday, his remains were taken to his Chesterville family home draped in a South African flag before being taken to the Durban city hall where a memorial service took place.

Gladys Maphumulo, Nakasa’s only surviving sibling, thanked all those who played a role in the return of the remains of her brother.

“We thank God for what he has done for us. This [is an] amazing favour,” Maphumulo said in a message read by her cousin Sibusiso Joshua Bhengu.

“For a long time we had a lot of pain that Nat was living abroad and we could not get there. Our dream has come true at last as a family,” she said.

Nakasa’s nephew Dr Sipho Masondo said God gave Nakasa a special gift to reflect on human personality.

“He was a good man and sought good for others other than himself,” he said.

Masondo said he did not accept that his uncle committed suicide.

“There was a cold war at that time,” he said.

“He may have started asking too many questions that may have exposed him to meeting his sudden tragic death,” he said.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said Saturday was a very special day as his friend was buried in dignity after being forced out of the country by the apartheid regime.

Buthelezi, who had asked his driver to take Nakasa to the airport when he left the country, remembered Nakasa as a talented young man.

“He was passionate about issues. He wrote without emotions. He exposed things the way they were,” he said. — WR.

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