Congratulations to Pieter-Louis Myburgh, who has won the Taco Kuiper Award for Investigative Reporting.
The Taco Kuiper Award, now in its fourteenth year, is South Africa’s biggest and most prestigious journalism award.
The awards are hosted by Wits Journalism in partnership with the Valley Trust, in memory of the late publisher Taco Kuiper.
Myburgh won the top prize for his bestselling book Gangster State: Unravelling Ace Magashule’s Web of Capture, which tackled the dubious legacy of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule.
- Read: ‘Ace Magashule’s rise reveals the weakness of the centre’—Imraan Coovadia reviews Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s Gangster State
Award judges said:
‘Every now and then, there comes along a piece of work that is so impactful and convincing that it comes to define the way the public sees someone, and that is the case with Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s deeply-researched book and its subject, senior politician Ace Magashule.’
Myburgh ventured deeper than ever before into Magashule’s murky dealings, from his time as a struggle activist in the 1980s to his powerful rule as premier of the Free State province for nearly a decade, and his rise to one of the ANC’s most influential positions.
This is the second Taco Kuiper Award for Myburgh, who won previously in 2016 for his investigation into corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).
Pauli van Wyk of the Daily Maverick and Scorpio was runner-up for her powerful expose of how the Economic Freedom Fighters benefited from the VBS bank scandal.
Read the full judges remarks delivered by Prof Anton Harber here.
See previous winners and runner-ups here.
According to Wits Journalism:
The panel of judges said that the range and depth of this year’s entries to the competition indicated the healthiness of accountability and watchdog reporting in South Africa, despite adverse conditions. They cited the financial state of the media, and noted that most of the entries came not from the traditional mainstream, but from new non-profit specialist, standalone journalism institutions. And they noted the viciousness of social media attacks on journalists, particularly, women, which was designed to scare them off from doing this work.
The judges paid tribute to the journalists, their editors, publishers and producers, and the whistleblowers, whose brave contributions to truth and accountability often went unrecognised.