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Mr Mathatha Tsedu

The Order of Ikhamanga in

Mr Mathatha Tsedu Awarded for:
His excellent contribution to South African journalism and to journalism on the African continent, as well as his selfless contribution to the liberation of our country and continent. His mighty pen continues to be his weapon in the building of our democracy.
Mr Mathatha Tsedu, in his long and distinguished career, reached the pinnacle of South African journalism. He was editor-in-chief of publications such as the Sunday Times and City Press, and was deputy editor of The Star and the Sunday Independent, as well as Deputy Chief Executive: SABC News.

He was a key figure in the creation of the Black Editors’ Forum, South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF), Southern African Editors’ Forum and African Editors’ Forum.

As a liberation journalist, Tsedu was detained by the apartheid government for long spells without trial, tortured by the ‘security’ police during the detentions, and was gagged and banned from practising his craft for over six years. He earned the deep respect of all the organisations in the liberation struggle because of the quality of his journalism.

He started out as a freelance journalist writing from the then Northern Transvaal (now Limpopo), bringing to the attention of the nation the stories from that province, including the little-known stories of freedom fighters such as Ngoako Ramatlhodi, Peter Mokaba, Mamphela Ramphela, Mosibudi Mangena and scores of others.

He was later transferred to Johannesburg where he became investigations editor and subsequently Political Editor before moving to the Sunday Independent as  deputy editor.

He was a founder member of journalists’ trade union, the Writers Association of South Africa, which became the Media Workers’ Association of South Africa and was also active in the National Council of Trade Unions.

Until his recent resignation, Tsedu served on the board of the SABC. He is Adjunct Professor in the School of Journalism at Wits University and Acting Executive Director of the SANEF. Previously he was General Manager for Strategic Development and Projects at Media24 News.

After serving as editor of City Press, he was head of the Media24 Journalism Academy, responsible for training working and student journalists. He is a seasoned media trainer.

He was until September 2013 Project Director of the Print and Digital Media Transformation Task Team and before that he was Project Director of the Press Freedom Commission of South Africa, which was established in 2011 to look at the regulatory framework of print media in the country.

He is a member of the Advisory Board of the UNISA School of Governance. Tsedu is also a member of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Journalism and Media Studies from Wits University and an Honorary Doctorate (DPhil in Arts) from the University of the Western Cape.

He is a recipient of a number of awards, including the Niemen Fellowship at Harvard University; Nat Nakasa Award for Courageous Journalism; Mondi Shanduka Lifetime Achiever Award; SANEF-Wrottesley Award; Media24 Newspapers All Time Legend and the Naspers Phil Weber Award.