The Star earned a double win in the categories for ‘South African
Newspaper Journalist of the Year’ and ‘South African Story of the Year’
in the eighth annual Mondi Shanduka Newspaper Awards presented in
Johannesburg, according to a media release.

At the May 6 ceremony, Beauregard Tromp was named ‘Mondi Shanduka South African Newspaper Journalist of the Year’ for his coverage of the outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa in 2008, and was described by the judges as a person who went an extra ‘many miles’ in covering these events.

“We chose this journalist for getting beyond the viewpoint of generalised observation and capturing the individuality of people caught up in the carnage,” said the panel headed by Professor Guy Berger of Rhodes University’s school of journalism and media studies.

The judges described Tromp’s series as ‘highly enterprising journalism, showing commitment and sensitivity on an emotionally testing subject’.

“The narration was poignant and appropriate to the content without being over-written or clichéd in any way.”

The South African Newspaper Journalist of the Year Award recognises outstanding performance by a newspaper journalist for work that demonstrates exceptional endeavour and world-class quality.

Antoine De Ras’ photographic account of the xenophobic violence earned him a win for ‘Mondi Shanduka South African Story of the Year’. De Ras was applauded for his compelling and vivid portrayal of the huge impact the xenophobic attacks had on tens of thousands of people.

"This was a story told in many genres of words as well as in imagery and presentation. While many South African citizens are ashamed about what happened, extensive and exemplary coverage is at least something from which we can take some solace,” said the judges.

“While many journalists did amazing documentation, often with daring and dedicated exertion, Ras was able to render the crisis in extremely compelling, vivid and varied detail.”

This category of the competition honours agenda-setting and original journalism which contributes to society by giving new insight into the changing character of South Africa.

Both winners were selected from the 601 entries submitted by 37 South African newspapers. They were each presented with a Mondi Shanduka Premier Award of R15,000 cash, a trophy and a certificate.

The judging panel, led by Professor Guy Berger, head of Rhodes University’s school of journalism and media studies, said there was no shortage of high quality work to choose from in selecting this year’s winners.

It was very clear that had the winning entries not been there, we would not have been left empty-handed. Far from it: other entries would have completely deserved to be given the leading place. And if these others had not been submitted, there would still have been yet another layer with legitimate claim to being the best entries.”

He said that South Africa is lucky to have the cadre of professionals that it has. “Indeed, at a time when lay-offs are troubling the industry, these journalists underline the importance of the fourth estate to a true democracy.”

Now in its eighth year, the theme of this year’s competition was ‘The Obvious is the Enemy’ and featured 601 entries from 37 South African newspapers.


Kanina Foss and Alex Eliseev of The Star won the Hard News category with their ‘Secret boy’s weird world’, a heart-rending story about an eight-year-old boy who was kept captive by his father.

“The piece was written under pressure of deadlines, with sensitivity and avoidance of easy sensationalism,” said the judges.

he runners-up were Beeld’s Amanda Roestoff and Leané du Plessis for ‘Satan sê ek moet moer’, ‘Ons was bang vir hom’, ‘Ons seun is geboelie’, ‘Baai Jacques’ and ‘Hy het sward gereeld geslyp’.


Makhudu Sefara of City Press won the Analysis and Commentary category with his submissions ‘Better the devil we know’, ‘ANC brought this on itself’ and ‘Zuma’s poisoned chalice’.

The judges said: “The winner’s work on the post-Polokwane ANC is admirable and shows enterprise and the importance of access to sources in the presentation of insightful analysis.”

The Weekender’s Michael Bleby earned second place with his ‘Owning a piece of Mandela’.


Thabo Mkhize earned first prize in the hotly contested Feature Writing category for ‘Place to BEE’ carried in the Sunday Times Lifestyle section.

Many entries revealed acute observation and real research, and the result was richly textured description and insight – taking readers on a journey of tangible discovery,” commented the panel.

Runners-up were The Star’s Alex Eliseev for ‘The old man in Room 21’, Beeld’s Elise Tempelhoff for ‘Bloederigheid tussen hul tande’ and  the Cape Argus’ Leila Samodien for her series, ‘My little angel Adam’.


The top award for Investigative Journalism was presented to the Daily Dispatch trio – Chandre Prince, Ntando Makhubu and Lubabalo Ngcukana – for their ‘Killer water in the Ukhahlamba District Municipality’. Their 34-page entry told the story of how scores of babies died in the Eastern Cape as a result of government negligence, incompetence and cover-up.

It is important to praise the outstanding work of smaller newspapers and their persistence in bringing important issues to the fore and exposing cover-ups. Their work speaks to the strength of team versus individual efforts. This is to be encouraged.”

Mail & Guardian’s Sam Sole, Stefaans Brümmer and Adriaan Basson earned second place for ‘Arms firm did give cash to ANC’.


Rowan Philp of the Sunday Times won the category for Creative Journalism with his piece ‘Brassed off by the Brits’, while second place was awarded to Naweek Beeld’s Marida Fitzpatrick for ‘Onder 4 oë: Ben Schoeman is … ne é un Sissy’.

“The leading stories were perceptive, expertly narrated and showed a masterly command of vocabulary and sentence construction.”


Jonathan Shapiro’s ‘Rape of Justice’ and ‘Xenophobia Flag’ which appeared in both the Sunday Times and Mail & Guardian earned him a win in the Graphical Journalism category.

“The judges did not necessarily endorse the sentiments of the controversial ‘Rape of Justice’ cartoon, but acknowledged it is an outstandingly powerful visual statement that had been deliberately designed to elicit enormous reaction.”

The runners-up were Jaco Grobbelaar for ‘De ANC kan nie COPE nie’ for Die Burger and Anton Vermeulen for ‘‘n Verspilde eeu van mislukte revolusies’ in Rapport – Perspektief’.


Prince Chauke of the Sunday Sun won the Popular Journalism category with his pieces ‘How do you cope with ‘Doctor’ Willie’? and ‘The Faker’. The runner-up was Brian Hayward for his ‘Sleepy town’s sordid love scandal turns bloody’ in the Weekend Post.

“Some of the stories we examined are open to ethical questions, in the sense of intrusion into private lives, but a great deal were squarely on the button in terms of the role of the media as a force for good.”


Chris Collingridge of The Star won News Photography with ‘Kids learn lesson of hate’, while Simphiwe Nkwali of the Sunday Times was made runner-up for his ‘Pleaded in vain’.

The winning entry could truly be said to be worth a thousand words as, in one frame, it said so much about the madness of xenophobia. The inclusion in the shot of children laughing mockingly at an older woman refugee from the other side of a red fence adds a poignancy and despair about the next generation,” said the judges.


In the Feature Photographic category The Star’s Jennifer Bruce impressed the judges with ‘Desperate, they board the 6.10 to safety’.

The runner-up was Alon Skuy for ‘What the hell is going on?’ and ‘10inTEN Your hate attacks in 10 minutes’ for Jozi Weekly – The Times.

Many papers appear to be running multi-picture spreads, and the photographers involved were therefore able to enter a portfolio that told a story on the same subject.”


The new category for Sports Photography elicited captivating entries across a wide range of sporting activities and was won by Rapport’s Deaan Vivier for his ‘Dis weer die ou Bulle!’ entry.

In second place was Cornél van Heerden’s ‘’n Lemoen ‘n dag’ in Beeld.

It was noteworthy that the best range of pictures came from a wide range of sports, including the minor ones.”


Mail &Guardian’s Jacqueline Steeneveldt, Ricky Hunt and Sukasha Singh won the Presentation and Layout category for their ‘Mob Nation’ series, while Robin Crouch of The Witness came second for ‘90-year walk’.

"Big stories call for special design, and the leading entries rose to the challenge with striking front pages and good follow-through.’


The prize winners were presented with a Mondi Shanduka Premier Award of R15,000 cash, a trophy and a certificate.