Phando Jikelo's picture series about a young Khayelitsha girl with albinism who is shunned by members of her community has won top honours in the photography section of the Western Cape regional Vodacom Journalism Awards.
Two Independent Media journalists have walked away with top prizes at this year's Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards. 

Luke Folb of Weekend Argus won the Young Journalist Award in the Western Cape and Phandulwazi Jikelo of African News Agency won the  Vodacom Journalist of the Year Regional Photography Award .

The 2019 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards drew more than 1 000 entries from across the country. This year’s theme was ‘Connect the Dots’ and paid tribute to journalism that has reflected on issues that expose flaws in and supports our country's democracy.

Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer for Corporate Affairs at the Vodacom Group says: “Once again the entries for the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards have been exceptional. Vodacom is proud to play a role in supporting press freedom in South Africa through the continued sponsorship of these prestigious awards. We are deeply grateful to the judges for their time and congratulate the winners from the Western Cape.”
 
Judging panel convenor Ryland Fisher, a seasoned journalist himself, said: “The judging panel, with three new members in Mapi Mhlangu, Franz Kruger and Jermaine Craig, were impressed with the calibre of the entries, once again. It showed us that journalists are doing their bit to enhance our democracy through their reporting and investigations, despite tough economic times which are impacting on the media industry. We congratulate all the regional winners, who are all worthy winners, and wish them luck as they prepare to contest for the national awards.”

The 12 categories journalists were invited to enter are:  
1.       Investigative
2.       Opinion
3.       Lifestyle
4.       Photography
5.       Sport
6.       Economics
7.       Politics
8.       CSI
9.       Live reporting/ breaking news
10.      Data Journalism
11.      Multi-platform
12.     Young Journalist of the Year Award

 
Cape Town Winners by category are:  

Investigative
* Raymond Joseph and Anton van Zyl for their series Gaming the Lottery, which appeared in several publications.
 
Opinion
* Willemien Brummer of Netwerk24 for her columns on Alzheimer’s and spanking children.
 
Lifestyle/Feature
* Tammy Petersen of News24 Online for her 7-part series on the gang-torn community of Hanover Park.  
 
Photography
* Phandulwazi Jikelo f or his series of pictures called 'Shunned for having albinism'.  

Sport
* Sport 24’s Lloyd Burnard for shining a spotlight on the role of Herschel’s 64-year-old primary school teacher and coach, Christo Jephtas.  His copy was supplemented by an excellent video shot and edited by Aljoscha Kohlstock.
 
Financial/Economics
* Marianne Merten of the Daily Maverick for a body of work that highlighted the central risk to business and consumers posed by Eskom’s capture.
 
Politics
* Hazel Friedman and Ismail Ridwaan for Bitter Harvest and The Lie of the Land for SABC’s Special Assignment and Hazel Friedman for her articles in the Mail & Guardian, Farm Flipping, The Land of Empty Promises and Corruption Plagues Land Reform.
 
CSI/Sustainability
Nadine Theron and Asanda Javu from eNCA for  Sustainability, which depicts how, in a neglected gang-ridden area where bullets frequently fly, a community farm on the grounds of an Ocean View school serves as a physical and psychological refuge.  

Live reporting/breaking news
* Aron Hyman of the Sunday Times and TimesLive for an excellent body of work, which included astonishing background on the murder of Cape Town lawyer, Pete Mihalik, the gang-related shooting of a Gift of the Givers’ volunteer, Ameerodien Noordien, and an in-depth analysis of the reasons why Cape Town is regarded as the world’s most dangerous city . Philani Nombembe contributed to the first of these stories.

Data Journalism
No winner.  

Multi-platform
* Sune Payne and Leila Dougan of Daily Maverick for eloquently reporting the plight of farm-dwellers in Bitter Harvest.  

Young Journalist of the Year Award
The award recognises rising stars in newsrooms across South Africa. Regional nominees will automatically become finalists for the national Young Journalist award. The Western Cape nominee is Luke Folb of the Weekend Argus.