Mthethwa to bring back Nakasa's remains

Johannesburg - Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa on Tuesday led a delegation to the US to bring back the remains of renowned anti-apartheid journalist Nat Nakasa, the department said.

The Supreme Court of the State of New York had granted permission for Nakasa's remains to be returned to South Africa, said spokesperson Sandile Memela.

"The South African government has been involved in the efforts to return Nakasa’s remains to home soil for the past two years."

He said the department, in partnership with the SA National Editor's Forum and Drum Magazine would run the Nat Nakasa Essay Competition from 15 August to 12 September.

The winners would be announced at his memorial service on 12 September.

"The department is proud to play the leading part in the efforts to re-bury Nat Nakasa’s remains on home soil."

Earlier reports had suggested that Nakasa would be buried at Heroes' Acre in Chesterville, KwaZulu-Natal.

Nakasa, a prolific young black voice who exposed the devastation of apartheid in his writings, was forced to leave SA on an exit visa when the apartheid government refused to grant him a passport after he was awarded a Nieman fellowship at Harvard University.

Nakasa died after falling from a building in New York in an apparent suicide in 1965. He was 28.

He was buried at the city's Ferncliff Cemetery.