The South African National Editors Forum is thrilled at the arrival tomorrow of the remains of Nat Nakasa back to his motherland, Africa. Nat left on an exit permit to study journalism and improve himself at Harvard University in 1964. The apartheid regime refused to give him a passport and the exit permit did not allow for him to return when the Nieman Fellowship ended. He died tragically in 1965 at the age of 28.
Sanef and the Nieman Society of Southern Africa have been working on repatriating Nat’s remains since the late 90’s. The entry of government at the various levels has ensured that the resources needed for this exercise are available to the point where the remains were exhumed on Friday and will arrive back in SA on Tuesday August 19.
This is a proud moment for South African journalism and the nation as a whole that we have been able to give Nat his last wish, returning to the land of his birth and to rest eternally with his ancestors. Sanef Executive Director, Mathatha Tsedu and Press Council of SA Director, Joe Thloloe, who are both Nieman Fellows, will represent South African journalism at the press conference at King Shaka International Airport on Tuesday to mark the start of the burial rites that will culminate with Nat’s internment at the Chesterville Heroes Acre cemetery on September 13.