#GuptaLeaks team scoops another award for courageous journalism

2018-06-25 20:00

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The team that investigated the controversial Gupta family and their influence on South African state-owned enterprises through a series of reports called the #GuptaLeaks have scooped another award.    

The team, which includes investigative journalists from News24, amaBhungane and Daily Maverick, was announced as winners of the South African National Editors Forum's (Sanef) Nat Nakasa Award for courageous journalism at the weekend. 

The overall winner was Daily Maverick editor Branko Brkic, who the judges commended for his "fearless" leadership.   

The award is named after and in honour of the South African journalist who died in exile in 1965 at the age of 28. The awards ceremony was held at Sanef's annual general meeting in Johannesburg.

READ: Ramaphosa: #GuptaLeaks opened my eyes that the wheels were coming off

The recipients of the award are Brkic, Pauli van Wyk, Lester Freamon, Adriaan Basson, Richard Poplak, Adi Eyal, Micah Reddy, Susan Comrie, Angelique Serrao, Stefaans Brümmer, Antoinette Muller, Marianne Thamm, Sam Sole, Tabelo Timse, Pieter-Louis Myburgh, Craig McKune, Lionel Faull, Rebecca Davis and Sally Evans. 

"This year we had the largest number of nominations ever and the quality of the entries was outstanding, and it was out of this cream of South African journalism that we selected the winner of the Nat Nakasa Award 2018," Sanef judge, veteran journalist and ex-Press Ombudsman Joe Thloloe said. 

Media's role in upcoming elections

"A cache of emails – a cache that defined the South African story in the last year – landed on his lap. If he were just another ordinary journalist, he would have heard the words 'scoop!' and 'exclusive!' dancing in his head. 

"But he was extraordinary and thus did two remarkable things: one, he realised this was not a story his publication could hoard – it belonged to South Africa; and two, he had to protect his sources.
"He arranged for the safety of the sources and he put together a team from his own publication, some journalists from the unique South African investigative journalism centre amaBhungane, and from his rivals, Media24, to give us the #GuptaLeaks, the journalism that brought down the Gupta family and their mentor, ex-president Jacob Zuma," Thloloe said.

Meanwhile, in a statement issued on Monday, Sanef said that it was committed to playing an active role in the lead-up to the 2019 national elections.

"This will include supporting and initiating election training across the industry and launching a campaign to protect the safety of journalists.

"An important component of this campaign will also include promoting the critical role of the media in elections and a campaign against fake news," it said.

At the weekend meeting the organisation also elected the following individuals to its executive committee:

  • Chair – Mahlatse Mahlase
  • Deputy chair – Katy Katopodis
  • Secretary general – Moipone Malefane
  • Treasurer – Adriaan Basson
  • Media freedom committee chair – Sam Mkokeli
  • Education and training chair – Tshamano Makhadi
  • Diversity and ethics chair – Glenda Daniels
  • Digital and broadcasting chair – Sheldon Morais and Dianne Hawker
  • Community media chair – Chris Louw
  • KZN regional chair – Judy Sandison
  • Western Cape chair – Janet Heard
  • Eastern Cape chair – Sibusiso Ngalwa
  • Gauteng hair – Reggy Moalusi

Other council members include Angie Kapelianis, Krivani Pillay, Verashni Pillay, Izak Minnaar, Amina Frense, Raymond Louw, Mary Papayya, Portia Kobue and Asanda Saul Ngoasheng.

*This story has been amended to reflect that the overall winner was Daily Maverick editor Branko Brkic.

Read more on:    mail and guardian  |  amabhungane  |  media24  |  gupta leaks

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