Nakasa’s coffin was brought from the plane to the airport’s cargo section where a guard of honour of members of Umkhonto we Sizwe military veterans association accompanied his coffin into a marquee, where tributes were paid.
Apart from his family, a host of media and African National Congress members were present.
Nakasa, a journalist who worked for Drum magazine, the Rand Daily Mail and Illanga newspapers among others, was forced to leave South Africa on an exit visa when the apartheid government refused to grant him a passport after he was awarded a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Nakasa died after falling from a building in New York in an apparent suicide in 1965. He was 28. He was buried at the city’s Ferncliff Cemetery.
Press Ombudsman Joe Thloloe said that he had read Nakasa’s work that he had written during the time that he was at Harvard.
“It was touching stuff of a man that was longing for home. From everything that I read, his heart was here and his body was there.” Earlier this week, Arts and Culture minister Nathi Mthethwa led a delegation to the US to bring back Nakasa’s remains.