National 19.9.2016 08:30 pm

Allister Sparks dies at 83

Veteran Journalist Allister Sparks talks to members of the media, 9 May 2015, at the Boardwalk conference centre in Port Elizabeth. Sparks caused an uproar on social media after listing Hendrik Verwoerd as a smart politician during a tribute to outgoing party leader Helen Zille.  Picture: Alaister Russell

Veteran Journalist Allister Sparks talks to members of the media, 9 May 2015, at the Boardwalk conference centre in Port Elizabeth. Sparks caused an uproar on social media after listing Hendrik Verwoerd as a smart politician during a tribute to outgoing party leader Helen Zille. Picture: Alaister Russell

A journalist with one of the longest careers in SA media history lost the fight on Monday morning in Johannesburg.

Celebrated author, journalist and political commentator Allister Sparks died on Monday morning at the Morningside clinic, according to a media statement by his son Michael.

Sparks was 83 and is survived by four sons.

He is best known for editing the anti-apartheid newspaper the Rand Daily Mail when it broke news of an information department scandal in the late 1970s that involved the secret use of government funds to establish a pro-government English-speaking newspaper (the title in question was The Citizen, which was subsequently sold to current owners Caxton in the 1990s).

Michael said his father had spent nearly two weeks in hospital with an infection.

He explained that “the old soldier’s body could simply not go on”.

Sparks published his memoirs dealing with six decades in the media, entitled The Sword and the Pen, earlier this year.

News24 is reporting that a memorial is being planned for Friday, October 14, at 11am at the Braamfontein Crematorium.

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