Exiled SA Writer’s Remains Go Home

nakasaThe remains of the renowned anti-apartheid journalist, Nat Nakasa have returned to South Africa, from the US.

He was awarded a year’s fellowship to study journalism at Harvard University in 1964 and took his own life a year later in New York at the age of 28.

The apartheid government had refused to give him a passport so he had left on an exit permit, which meant he was unable to go home.

“Nat would be very happy,” his sister Gladys Maphumulo said.

She attended the memorial service for Nakasa on Saturday in New York, a day after his remains were exhumed. At the service, South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa said it was the closure of a “horrific chapter of our history”.

Correspondents say there was a hero’s welcome for the late writer at the airport in Durban.

A guard of honour made up of veterans from Umkhonto we Sizwe, the former military wing of the African National Congress, led the flag-draped coffin into a marquee, where further tributes were paid.

A campaign to have Nakasa’s remains returned home began not long after the end of white minority rule in 1994.

“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,” the South African National Editors Forum said in a statement. — BBC




“He accepted without question and with easy dignity and natural pride his Africanness, and he took equally for granted that his identity as a man among men, a human among fellow humans, could not be legislated out of existence.”

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