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Nat Nakasa receives hero’s welcome

Nakasa's remains touched down in Durban this afternoon, ending a five decade journey to bring him home.

A coffin with the remains of prolific South African author and journalist Nat Nakasa arrives at Durban's King Shaka International Airport on Tuesday, 19 August 2014. Picture: Sapa.

DURBAN - Renowned anti-apartheid journalist Nat Nakasa has received a long overdue hero’s welcome at King Shaka International Airport in Durban. 

Nakasa’s remains touched down in Durban this afternoon, ending a five decade journey to bring the stalwart home. 

Nat Nakasa’s remains touched down in Durban on 19 August, 2014 ending a five decade journey to bring the stalwart home. Picture: KZN Provincial Govt.

The quest to return the exiled writer’s remains to South Africa has been ongoing since his death at the age of 28 but bureaucratic hurdles and a lack of funds have stymied attempts over the years. 

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

He was forced to leave the country when the nationalist government refused to allow him a passport after he was awarded the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University.

Nakasa's flag-draped casket was led by a procession of Umkhonto we Sizwe veterans and police followed closely by his family.  

The steady beat of the march ended in a marquee where politicians addressed his family. 

Nakasa has been hailed as an unsung soldier who could finally come home. 

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa led a delegation to New York to escort Nakasa’s exhumed body home.

He will be reburied on 13 September in the Heroes' Acre Cemetery in his home town of Chesterville, KwaZulu-Natal.

(Edited by Gadeeja Abbas)

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