City Press newspaper investigative reporter Sipho Masondo has been presented with the annual Nat Nakasa award for his courageous reporting on corruption and other shenanigans at the water affairs department.
Masondo was bestowed with the award at a gala dinner hosted by the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) and Sanlam in Durban on Saturday evening.
“Masondo has been offered bribes in millions of rand but remained resilient and pursued the story that uncovered a number of activities, including shocking maladministration at the department as well as the minister’s relationship with a ‘Ben10’, who was said to have an influence on decisions at the department,” Sanef said in a statement on Sunday.
The Nat Nakasa award was awarded for courageous and brave journalism. The award was an expression of the recognition of journalists who had distinguished themselves by demonstrating courage, tenacity, integrity, and fearlessness in their practice of journalism.
Despite the threats to his life Masondo still continued to uncover the rot while working under tremendous pressure. There was even talk of making him “disappear”, Sanef said.
The runner-up of the Nat Nakasa awards was Suzanne Venter of Rapport for her relentless pursuit of the story that led to national outrage at the deaths of over 100 mentally ill patients at Esidimeni in Gauteng.
Veteran journalist Mathatha Tsedu was also honoured at the awards as Sanef paid special tribute to him. Tsedu was thanked by Sanef for his contribution as executive director and as a founding member of the organisation, as well as for his undying fight for journalism.
– African News Agency (ANA)