Associate editor Ferial Haffajee is to become the new editor of the Mail & Guardian, the newspaper announced on Thursday.
She will become the only female editor of a major South African newspaper.
Haffajee, 36, who was a trainee at the newspaper in 1991, will take over from Mondli Makhanya, who will take up the post of editor at the Sunday Times in February.
Haffajee told the Mail & Guardian Online on Thursday that she had her eye on the job for some time.
"I've been offered other leadership positions, and I've not taken them. This is a dream job.
"I think that Mondli and Trevor Ncube - CEO of M&G Media - set the tone for a 21st-century Mail & Guardian. So I'll continue on that path. The key areas will remain strong investigative journalism, and to be a political trends leader."
She said the paper would continue to be a leader in the coverage of the rest of Africa and reclaim "our place as the home of cutting-edge features and photojournalism."
Before her associate editorship at the M&G, Haffajee worked as a radio producer and television reporter at the South African Broadcasting Corporation and as managing editor at the Financial Mail. - Sapa