2017 Panel of Judges:

Three permanent judges represent out funders the Valley Trust, Wits Journalism and the international media. They are assisted by judges appointed each year.


Tom Cloete is a Judge of the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein. He is also one of the five trustees of The Valley Trust, a trust set up by the late Taco Kuiper to promote investigative journalism.

Cloete studied law at Rhodes University and at Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He was admitted to the South African bar in 1975 and also practised in Botswana and Swaziland.

In 1991, two years after becoming Senior Counsel, Cloete was appointed to the Johannesburg High Court. He was the Senior Judge of the Commercial Court in Johannesburg until he was elevated to the Appeal Court.
He has also served on the High Court of the Kingdom of Swaziland and as an ad hoc Judge of Appeal in Seychelles.



Lizeka Mda is a graduate of Rhodes University and Wits Business School. Over 30 years she has held different positions in the communication and media fields – from a reporter on social, political and economic issues, to title editor, to publisher of several magazines. She has also produced radio programmes for the SABC and the BBC, and is a published writer of fiction and non-fiction.

She is a World Press Institute Fellow, class of 1993, and a Nieman Fellow, class of 2004.


Sarah Carter works for the US television network CBS, based in Johannesburg. She has won awards for several programmes including Death by Denial on Aids in Africa and her investigation into South Africa’s apartheid-era chemical and biological warfare programme.

She teaches the Masters in International Reporting at the Graduate School of Journalism, UBC, Canada. In 2010 her students won an Emmy for their PBS/Frontline documentary Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground, which traced the path of electronic waste around the globe to Ghana, China and India.


Justice Malala is a magazine and newspaper columnist, former newspaper editor and media entrepreneur. Malala currently consults for Johncom on business strategy, writes regular weekly columns for the Sowetan (Malala on Monday) and Financial Mail magazine (Food for Thought) and is the resident political analyst for independent television channel e.tv.

Malala was an executive producer on Hard Copy I and II, a ground-breaking television series on SABC 3 which recently won the Golden Horn Award for best television series. Malala was founding editor of ThisDay, the quality, upmarket South African daily newspaper which was launched on October 7 2003 and folded a year later.




Mathatha Tsedu
 is Adjunct Professor in the School of Journalism at Wits University and Acting Executive Director of the National Editors Forum (SANEF). Prior to that 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 learner journalists. He is a seasoned media trainer. He was until September 2013 Project Director of the Print and Digital Media Transformation Task Team (PDMTTT) and before that he was Project Director of the Press Freedom Commission of SA, which was established in 2011 to look at the regulatory framework of print media in SA.

He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Unisa School of Governance. He has served as Editor at a number of SA newspapers and is a recipient of a number of awards, including Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University, the Nat Nakasa Award for Courageous Journalism, The Mondi Shanduka Lifetime Achiever Award and The SANEF Wrottesley Award, the Media24 Newspapers All Time Legend and the Naspers Phil Weber Award.

Anton Harber, the Caxton Professor of Journalism (Adjunct) at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, has a 35-year career in journalism, media management and training. He was founder-editor of the anti-apartheid newspaper the Weekly Mail (now the Mail & Guardian) for 12 years, Editor-in-Chief of South Africa’s leading television news channel, eNCA, and chief executive of Kagiso Media.

He is a board member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and a former chair of the SA Conference of Editors and the National Association of Broadcasters. He has served on the boards of the Freedom of Expression Institute, the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, East Coast Radio and Radio Jacaranda, inter alia. He is the convenor of judges for the Taco Kuiper Award for Investigative Journalism and has served as a judge on the Sanlam Financial Journalism Awards, the Vodacom South African Journalism Awards and the CNN/Multichoice African Journalism Awards.

Harber wrote Diepsloot (Jonathan Ball, 2011), The Gorilla in the Room (Mampoer Shorts, 2013). He co-edited the first two editions of The A–Z of South African Politics (Penguin, 1994/6), What is Left Unsaid: Reporting the South African HIV Epidemic (Jacana, 2010), and Troublemakers: The best of SA’s investigative journalism (Jacana, 2010).


Franz Krüger is Adjunct Professor, head of the Department of Journalism at Wits University and director of the Wits Radio Academy.

He is a journalist of some 35 years’ experience, having worked in print and broadcasting in South Africa, Namibia and the UK, at media groups ranging from the BBC and London Guardian to East London’s Daily Dispatch and the Windhoek Advertiser.  He was founding group editor of East Cape News Agencies, a network of independent news agencies during the eighties which was subjected to considerable repression at the hands of the apartheid government.

As National Editor of Radio News and Current Affairs at the SABC from 1994 to 1999, Krüger formed part of the first post-apartheid management team at the corporation and helped achieve a significant turnaround in the credibility and quality of radio journalism at the corporation. During his spell there, he managed major projects including the coverage of several elections, the Truth Commission, the introduction of sound to bulletins, the overhaul of news and current affairs programming on SAfm and the equalization of news resourcing for African language stations.

In 2000, he left the SABC to become an independent journalist and trainer, serving as correspondent for Canadian, Dutch, US and British radio. He has been director of the Wits Radio Academy since 2009 and head of Wits Journalism since 2016. He has served as Ombud for the Mail & Guardian, continues to serve on the Adjudication Panel of the SA Press Council and is sought after as a speaker, commentator and consultant. His book Black, white and grey: journalism ethics in South Africa was published in 2004.  A second title, The Radio Journalism Toolkit, was published in 2006 (revised 2014), and is being used as a prescribed text at several colleges and universities in South Africa and abroad.  He co-wrote a booklet The Healthy Community Radio Station in 2012.

Krüger has a BA from UCT and an MA with distinction from City University, London.