INDABA Newsletter | November 2012

Networking forum

Thank you very much to the National Development Agency for hosting the club’s networking forum in October. It was a most informative evening with great prizes!

Our last networking forum of the year, in press club tradition, will be hosted by Kumba Iron Ore at 18:00 for 18:30 on Thursday, 29 November. Watch out for e-mails from the secretariat, with full details and a map attached.

Also visit the press club’s Facebook page for further announcements.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Percy Qoboza memorial lecture a highlight

The second annual Percy Qoboza memorial lecture was held on Friday, 19 October.

This joint project by the National Press Club and the Department of Communication Science at Unisa commemorates �Black Wednesday’ � 19 October 1977 when the apartheid regime declared illegal 19 Black Consciousness organisations, banned two newspapers and detained scores of activists.

The World newspaper editor Percy Qoboza and other journalists were subsequently arrested and jailed.

This year’s lecture was delivered by tireless anti-apartheid campaigner and trade unionist Jay Naidoo, followed by a panel discussion with press ombudsman Joe Thloloe, editor of the Mail and Guardian and press club editor of the year, Nic Dawes and editor of the Pretoria News, Val Boje.

Among others, Naidoo said the challenge the media faces today is to remain truthful and despite the adversarial challenges they face, to remain courageous and aid in society’s aspiration towards true social justice. “Percy Qoboza represents these ideals, despite persecution by the repressive system that was apartheid, he challenged the political leadership of his day by holding a mirror of truth to society.”

Go the press club Facebook page to view an extract of his speech.

Celebrating media freedom with the Qoboza family � from left, press club general manager Ben Rootman, Pinky Qoboza, Jay Naidoo, Tokozile Qoboza, Vusi Qoboza and press club chairperson Antoinette Slabbert.

Ivan Mkhomazi wins press club bursary

Ivan Mkhomazi won the annual National Press Club bursary for an honours student in Communication Science at Unisa. This R12 000 bursary was handed over at the Percy Qoboza memorial lecture on 19 October.

Ivan writes for us:

The invitation to apply for the National Press Club bursary came as shock to me. When I enquired about the criteria used to select participants for the bursary, I was told that they only invited top achieving communication students who continued with their honours degrees at Unisa. This was a very humbling honour as I always aim to excel in what I do generally.

Unfortunately the invitation came at very tense time as I was busy with my assignments (very hectic) and my beloved voluntary radio job (@unisa radio) and other voluntary charity work I do which caused me to apply exactly on the closing date, so I never thought that I’d win this bursary.

When I head that I had won the bursary, I was very ecstatic. There aren’t enough words to describe my gratitude to the National Press Club.

I’m busy completing my honours degree in organisational communication and plan to register for a postgraduate diploma in marketing management next year with the bursary I received from the press club.

I sincerely hope that the receipt of this bursary will inspire more children from disadvantaged backgrounds like me to keep the faith in education and to read more so that they can be more informed citizens.

I want to say a big thank you to the National Press Club and everyone who made this bursary possible. Media workers, media students and citizens of this country, indeed should keep the memory of Percy Qoboza alive and ensure that Black Wednesday never happens again.

Rewarding hard work � from left, Dr Molapo Qhobela, Unisa Vice Principal: Institutional Development with Ben Rootman of the National Press Club, Ivan Mkhomazi, winner of the National Press Club bursary and Prof Danie du Plessis of the department of Communication Science at Unisa.

Nominate your newsmaker

Members of the National Press Club are requested to send in their nominations for the club’s 2012 Newsmaker of the Year award, with a short motivation, to the secretariat on, before or on Friday, 11 January 2013.

Nominations received will be discussed at an exco meeting and the name of the newsmaker announced before the end of January 2013.

In memory of Lester Mills

The Pretoria News team recently dusted off their walking shoes and took to the scenic paths at Tuks’ High Performance Centre to take part in a 5km walk and a 10km run in memory of sports editor, Lester Mills, who passed away in July following a long battle with cancer.

The centre’s 10th anniversary night race was dedicated to the memory of Lester (49), who was a keen runner. He had several Comrades marathons under his belt and as a runner of the Agape running club, he kept the running fraternity up to date on the local running scene in his Run of the Mills column in our newspaper.

Tuks dedicated the race to him for his longstanding service to sports journalism and the sports fraternity.

His wife Lesley and the couple’s three children participated in the walk in memory of Lester’s fight against cancer.

He was known in the industry as the gentleman of sports journalism. He had been part of the Pretoria News team for more than 20 years and the mentor of many young sports reporters.

National Press club member Vata Ngobeni, who had been part of the sports team for many years, has been appointed acting sports editor in the place of Lester. He said of Lester: “As much as he was my boss, and the best boss in the world, he was also a mentor, a father figure and a good friend.”

The press club will miss you, Fredah

National Press Club member and Steve Biko Academic Hospital spokeswoman Fredah Kobo has been laid to rest.

Kobo, 41, was shot and killed by her boyfriend who then turned the gun on himself on 6 October.

Kobo was buried at the Zandfontein Cemetery on 13 October.

The last networking forum she attended was hosted by Proudly South African at the Court Classique Hotel on 27 September.

Press club member Reynold Thakhuli said: “It’s really hard to talk about her in the past tense.

“She was a dynamic person and had the ability to network. She was just a pretty and lovely person.

“She will be sorely missed.”

Another press club member Patrick Hlahla said: “Fredah was one of those vibrant press club members who enjoyed good company. An outgoing person, Freda was full of life and loved by most of the members of the press club.

“Her loss is not only a loss to the hospital and her family but to all those who knew and respected her. She will be sorely missed. May her soul rest in peace”.

See you at emBARgo

Members are reminded about happy hour at the press club bar emBARgo, every Friday from 17:00 to 19:00. The bar is in the cellar of the Orange Restaurant in the Court Classique Hotel, corner of Beckett and Francis Baard (previously Schoeman) Streets, Arcadia.

National Press Club member Nico van Burick awarded � three times

Nico van Burick received no less than three awards for excellence in journalism � a Pica award for Feature Writer of the Year in the consumer category, and two Media24 awards, for best news article and the award for the best public interest article of the year. All these are for his articles on South African farmers in the Congo featured in Landbouweekblad.

Well done Nico! Hope to see you at the next networking forum.


Please send any news, suggestions or information for this newsletter to Martin van Niekerk at the secretariat on, 082 257 0305. Website | Facebook | Twitter