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Nakasa would’ve transform media - ANC

Durban - Anti-apartheid journalist Nathaniel Nakasa would have helped transform the media industry had the apartheid government allowed him to return to South Africa, the ANC said on Tuesday.

“Nakasa would have made immense contribution in transforming the media industry had the apartheid government allowed him to return to South Africa after he completed his journalism fellowship in the US,” KwaZulu-Natal ANCsecretary Sihle Zikalala said in a statement.

A coffin with the remains of prolific South African author and journalist Nat Nakasa arrives at Durban's King Shaka International Airport on Tuesday. Picture: Giordano Stolley. Credit: SAPA

“His mysterious death in the US can be blamed on the apartheid regime which refused to allow him to return home.”

Nakasa's remains arrived at Durban's King Shaka International Airport on Tuesday accompanied by Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

Nakasa, who worked for publications including Drum magazine, the Rand Daily Mail and Illanga newspapers, 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.

Zikalala said the return of Nakasa's remains was a reminder of atrocities committed by the apartheid government.

“The return of Nakasa's remains to Durban, his childhood home, closes an excruciating chapter that his family had to endure for five decades, and it also reminds us of the atrocities committed by the apartheid regime against people who fought for equal rights.” - Sapa

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