The SABC’s award-winning Special Assignment programme has once again been recognized by the international media fraternity for it’s hard-hitting investigative documentaries, according to a media release.


Producer Sasha Wales-Smith was last week awarded the prize for the ‘Clearest TV Coverage of a Single News Event’ by the Association for International Broadcasting (AIB)

At the prize-giving ceremony in London, the judges of the International Media Excellence Awards commended Wales-Smith for her documentary on anti-foreigner violence in South Africa earlier this year.

Entitled ‘Hambani Makwerekwere’ it told the story of the ethnic unrest in May and June this year. The judges called it a very engaging production, which gave the viewer a real sense of being in the midst of the turmoil.

They commented that it was a thorough and well-researched piece of journalism that got behind the headlines. On the one hand it showed the personal tragedies of the victims of the anti-foreigner violence. But it also heard from perpetrators of the violence, as well as from pundits who gave much-needed political, social and economic context to the frustration displayed by many poor South Africans.

The team took significant risks in going in trying to talk with people who had taken part in the mob violence. At the same time, the interviewing and sensitive, un-hurried editing was such that one got a three dimensional sense of many of the characters profiled.

Wales-Smith joined Special Assignment in October 2005. Last week she also won the TV prize in the Webber Wentzel Bowens Legal Journalist of the Year competition.

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