Guest Blogger: Mzilikazi wa Afrika
Mzilikazi wa Afrika is multi-award winning journalist working for the Sunday Times investigations unit in Johannesburg, South Africa. He is also the reigning chairperson of the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR), an investigative journalism organisation with members from 36 different African countries. He also sits on the board of the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN).
Mzilikazi is one of the doyens of South African investigative journalism with a career dating back to 1995 when he started as a freelance reporter for the Witbank News in Mpumalanga Province.
Mzilikazi made international headlines when he was arrested at work in August 2010 just three days after the Sunday Times exposed national police commissioner in a R1.7-billion lease scandal. He was the co-author of the story. Mzilikazi successfully sued the minister of police wrongful arrest; in the settlement letter the minister admitted that his arrest was “wrongful and illegal.”
Over the years, he and his colleagues (at the Sunday Times investigations unit) have uncovered and exposed a number of dodgy deals and corrupt politicians including the government’s controversial arms deal saga that landed former ANC chief whip Tony Yengeni in jail and SAPS leases which forced the president to fire his public works minister, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde and national police commissioner Bheki Cele.
The unit also forced the president to fire Dina Pule, who was a minister of communications, after she was exposed of dishing out government deals and favour for her boyfriend, a married father of three. Pule also flew her boyfriend around the world at taxpayers’ expense.
The Bushbuckridge born scribe was awarded two international scholarships to study in the UK and USA for the recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of journalism. He has just published his memoir titled Nothing Left to Steal which is one of the best books in South Africa, and working on his first novel titled The Ugly Ones Are So Beautiful.
Mzilikazi’s accolades include:
- 2013: Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award winner.
- 2013: Vodacom Journalist Award Print News Winner.
- 2013: Global Shining Light Award winner.
- 2013: One of the speakers at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference in Brazil.
- 2012 Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards: South African Story of the year winner.
- 2012 Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards: South African Journalist of the year.
- 2012 Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards: Investigative Journalist Award winner.
- 2012 Taco Kuiper Award for Investigative Journalism winner.
- 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the year.
- 2011 Vodacom Print News Journalist of the year.
- 2011: Vodacom Journalist of the Year Regional winner.
- 2011: Taco Kuiper Award for investigative Journalism winner.
- 2011: Mondi Shanduka Newspaper Awards: Investigative Journalism finalist.
- 2011: Mondi Shanduka Newspaper Awards: Hard News story winner.
- 2007: One of the researchers for the critical acclaimed and award winning biography of former South African President Thabo Mbeki titled The Dream Deferred by Mark Gevisser.
- 16: 2005: Wrote a chapter on Investigative Journalism on the book titled Changing the Fourth Estate – essays on South African Journalism commissioned by the Human Science Research Council [HSRC]
- 2003: Guest Speaker at the International Conference for Investigative Journalism [Denmark].
- 2003: International Consortium of Investigative Journalism Award Finalist [USA].
- 2003: Sunday Times Journalist of the Year winner.
- 2003: Lorenzo Natali Investigative Journalism Award Finalist [Belgium].
- 2003: John Manyarara Investigative Journalism Award winner [Namibia].
- 2002: Vodacom Journalist of the Year Regional winner.
- 2001: Sunday Times Story of the Year winner.
- 2001: Mondi Paper Newspaper Award: South African Story of the Year winner.
- 2001: Mondi Paper Newspaper Award: News Writing winner.
- 2001: The Nat Nakasa for Media Integrity Award winner.
- 2001: Awarded Honorary Citizenship of Nebraska State [USA].
- 2001: US Foreign Exchange Fellow for Investigative journalism Scholarship [USA].
- 2001: Harry Brittain Fellowship [England].
- 2000: Sunday Times story of the year winner.
- 1999: Sunday Times journalist of the year.
- 1999: Foreign Correspondence Association Finalist.
- 1999: South African Courageous Journalism Award winner.
- 1999: Nat Nakasa for Media Integrity Award Winner.