Sanef calls on eThekwini municipality to restore vandalised grave of Nat Nakasa

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The grave of journalist Nat Nakasa has been vandalised. (Hopewell Radebe via Twitter)
The grave of journalist Nat Nakasa has been vandalised. (Hopewell Radebe via Twitter)
  • Sanef is disappointed by the news that eThekwini has not fulfilled a promise to restore Nat Nakasa's tombstone.
  • Nakasa and Senzo Meyiwa's gravesites were vandalised in 2021.
  • The municipality was called on to ensure better security at Heroes Acre.

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) expressed its disappointment at the lack of maintenance of Nathaniel "Nat" Nakasa's tombstone.

On Thursday evening, Sanef said it was disappointed by the news that the eThekwini municipality had not fulfilled a promise to restore the tombstone of the journalist and anti-apartheid icon.

Nakasa and former Bafana Bafana goalkeeper Senzo Meyiwa's gravesites were vandalised in 2021.

"Nat, whose legacy is celebrated in Sanef's annual Nat Nakasa Courageous Journalism award, died in Upstate New York in 1937," the forum said in a statement.

Nat Nakasa
Nat Nakasa.

At the time, he was on a one-way visa in the US, on a Nieman Scholarship, to escape threats to his life under the apartheid regime. 

"Sanef, together with the Nakasa family and a range of stakeholders, worked tirelessly for years to bring the remains back to his childhood suburb of Chesterville, outside Durban."

READ | SA editors' forum calls on SABC to remove 'illegal' surveillance clause from employees' contracts

In 2014, his remains were returned to SA for reburial at the Chesterville Cemetery Heroes Acres site, which was a fulfilment of his last wish to return home to the country where he was born. 

Sanef said it was saddened by the turn of events and called on the municipality to restore the gravesite, which was considered a shrine to journalism. 

Nakasa had paid a high price for his sacrifice - and everything should be done to restore his final resting place. 

Sanef said it had contacted the municipality's division responsible for the reburial, as well as the eThekwini municipality, in the hope the gravesites could be properly restored.

Comment from the eThekwini municipality was not received by the time of publication.

Sanef called on the municipality to ensure better security at Heroes Acres because such vandalism should not be allowed.

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