Stephan Hofstatter and Mzilikazi wa Afrika of The Sunday Times were crowned the national winners of the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards for their controversial story ‘Bheki Cele’s R500m police rental deal’. Both winners were honoured tonight at a gala dinner held at Vodacom World in Midrand, Gauteng.
Convenor of the judges for the Awards, Advocate Robin Sewlal commented, “Tribute must be paid to the 2011 overall national winners, Stephan Hofstatter and Mzilikazi wa Afrika, for producing sterling work that raises the bar very high for the future of journalism.”
Sewlal continues, “In this landmark 10th year of the competition, the national winning entry epitomises the very best in journalism. It is this kind of investigative journalism that keeps our politicians on their toes and kudos must be given to Stephan and Mzilikazi for being so brave in their pursuit of the truth. The more articles and broadcasts of an investigative nature there are, the more society will benefit from such close scrutiny and insights.”
This year Avusa, the SABC and Media24 dominated the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards, with these media houses walking away with numerous awards in different categories. The Eastern Cape region also had numerous national category winners.
Wa Afrika and Hofstatter collectively won a cash prize of R125 000 (shared between the two National winners) as well as another R125 000 for a charity of their choice. The winners also received Nokia N9 handsets, return flights from Mango, a weekend away at any African Pride Hotel and a Huawei S7 Slim tablet each.
All the national winners received a cash prize of R15 000 each, a weekend away at any South African Protea Hotel and Nokia C7 handsets. In addition, the winner of the photography category received two return local flights from Mango.
Veteran journalist Sophie Tema (Mosimane) was honoured with the Lifetime Achiever Award for her critical contribution to journalism, especially for her work during the 1976 student protests.
Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International and Chair of the civil society alliance ‘Global Campaign for Climate Action’ (GCCA), was the guest speaker at the Awards. He congratulated the winners and appealed to the media to help simplify a sometimes complex message around climate change, especially ahead of COP17. “When environmental activists, governments and NGO’s talk about climate issues, they often use words and messages that are difficult for people to understand. You, as media, have the power to help unravel that message and frame it in a way that speaks to what must be done to mitigate climate impacts, and I appeal to you to continue to help us do just that and to stress the urgency for immediate action,” he said.
Portia Maurice, Chief Officer of Corporate Affairs at Vodacom, said: “We are honoured to be able to pay tribute to the media. Hofstatter and Wa Afrika’s win clearly demonstrates that the media’s role is not only to entertain and inform us, but also to act as ethical gatekeepers in society. The bravery and tenacity displayed by these gentlemen, and in fact all the winners, is remarkable and we are so proud to reward them for this.”
The judges for the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards are: Advocate Robin Sewlal (Convenor), Maud Motanyane (Co-convenor), Ruda Landman, Professor Johann de Wet, Mary Papayya, Victor Matom, Dr Melanie Chait, Arthur (ZB) Molefe, Collin Nxumalo, Leonard Maseko, Tim Modise, Arthur Goldstuck and Max du Preez.
Budget Car Hire provided each guest with an orange tree, to offset their carbon as well as provided the journalists with a loyalty card plus voucher prizes. Mango Airlines, the official airline for the awards, has also offset the carbon emissions of these flights by absorbing the Green Fees. Huawei gave away a Huawei S7 Slim tablet and five Huawei handsets as a mystery prizes at the event.
Pick ‘n Pay has donated a goody bag of the retailer’s green products to each winner.
The National Award winners of the 2011 Vodacom Journalist of the Year Awards are:
· Sam Sole, Mail & Guardian Newspaper, Radovan Krejcir: The mobster at the gates.
· Stefaans Brümmer, Mail & Guardian Newspaper, Radovan Krejcir: The mobster at the gates.
· Ilham Rawoot, Mail & Guardian Newspaper, Radovan Krejcir: The mobster at the gates.
· Stephan Hofstatter, Avusa, Sunday Times, Bheki Cele’s R500m police rental deal.
· Mzilikazi wa Afrika, Avusa, Sunday Times, Bheki Cele’s R500m police rental deal.
· Asanda Magaqa, SABC, SABC News, No woman’s land.
· Liz Fish, Carte Blanche, Combined artists, Fracking in the Karoo.
· Mpho Lakaje, eNews, Hate crime.
· Fathima Simjee, Health-e News Service, Morning Live, SABC, Positive Heroes.
Radio General News
· Zimasa Mbewu, SABC Current Affairs, Tatane.
· Unathi Binqose, SABC, SAFM, Imfundo.
Financial / economic (in association with the JSE Limited)
· Claire Bisseker, Avusa, Financial Mail, Do or Die.
· Sameer Naik, Independent Newspapers, Saturday Star, The Best World Cup Ever.
· Piet Naude, Avusa, The Herald, Meetings are a waste of time.
· Jeremy Nell, The New Age, Jeremy Nell Studio, Africa 2.0.
Photography (in association with Mango)
· Mlondolozi Mbolo, Avusa, Daily Dispatch Xhosa Rite Of Passage – Intonjan.
Online (in association with Nokia)
· Brian Hayward, Avusa, The Herald, Nelson Mandela Bay’s crumbling state healthcare.
· Eugene Coetzee, Avusa, The Herald, Nelson Mandela Bay’s crumbling state healthcare.
· Estelle Ellis, Avusa, The Herald, Nelson Mandela Bay’s crumbling state healthcare.
- Khanyi Ndabeni, Avusa, The Herald, Nelson Mandela Bay’s crumbling state healthcare.
· Faatimah Hendricks, The Voice of the Cape, The Battle of Hangberg.
· Dorianne Arendse, The Voice of the Cape, The Battle of Hangberg.
Consumer Journalism (in association with Pick n Pay)
· Herman Scholtz, Media24, Rapport, Frozen chicken horror.
Social Media in Journalism (in association with Cerebra)
- Herman Manson: Twitter breaks news, but will it break journalism?
- Pieter Steyn, Media24, Die Volksblad.