Remembering Henry Nxumalo, Pioneer Under Apartheid

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Mohamed Keita
January 24, 2012

This story was written by Mohamed Keita, Africa advocacy coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). CPJ is a nonprofit organization championing the rights of journalists since 1981. 

Just over 55 years ago, on New Year's Eve 1957, trailblazing South African journalist Henry Nxumalo was murdered while investigating suspicious deaths at an abortion clinic in Sophiatown, a suburb west of Johannesburg.

A local journalist assassinated while covering a local story, Nxumalo could be just one among the 631 journalists silenced by murder since CPJ began systematically documenting media fatalities in 1992. However, Nxumalo's short-lived journalism career was remarkable -- he operated as one of the first black journalists under apartheid and pioneered undercover investigative journalism in South Africa.

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