Minister Mthethwa to bring back Nakasa’s remains

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12 Aug 2014

The Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Nathi Mthethwa will lead a delegation to the United States of America on Tuesday 12 August 2014 to bring back the remains of Nat Nakasa for burial on home soil.

This comes after the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Westchester, had granted permission for the remains of iconic journalist and writer Nat Nakasa to come home. The South African government has been involved in the efforts to return Nakasa’s remains to home soil for the past two years.

Nathaniel Ndazana Nakasa was born in 1937 in Chesterville, KwaZulu-Natal province. He distinguished himself as a transcendent voice in the world of journalism during the 1950s and early 1960s. He worked for the Zulu newspaper, ILanga Lase Natal in Durban, before joining Drum Magazine in Johannesburg. He was part of the iconic pantheon of Drum journalists, including Henry Nxumalo, Can Themba, Lewis Nkosi, Casey Motsisi, and many others. He was the first black columnist in Rand Daily Mail, a white liberal newspaper at the time.

In 1963 he founded The Classic, the first black-owned literary journal in South Africa.  Nakasa was granted the prestigious Nieman Fellowship for journalism at Harvard University in the US. The apartheid government denied him a visa and he left South Africa on an exit permit in 1964.

As part of “Nat Nakasa “Bringing Home a Hero Project”, the Department of Arts and Culture (DAC) together with the Departments of Basic and Higher Education in partnership with SANEF and Drum magazine will run the Nat Nakasa Essay Competition from 15 August to 12 September 2014. The winners of the Essay competition will be announced on 12 Sep 2014 at Nakasa`s memorial service.

The Department of Arts and Culture, as the custodians of the nation’s memory, is proud to play the leading part in the efforts to rebury Nat Nakasa’s remains on home soil.

Enquiries     : Sandile Memela 082 800 3750 or email

                    : Lisa Combrinck 082 821 4886/012 441 3144 or