Veteran journalist, Allister Sparks hailed for breaking Biko murder story
The chair of the press council Joe Thloloe says Sparks showed his bravery by running the story.
JOHANNESBURG - Former journalist Allister Sparks is being hailed for his decision to break the story of the murder of Steve Biko, and his contribution to ensuring the media remained free in South Africa.
Sparks died last night, at the age of 83.
He was the editor of the Rand Daily Mail newspaper when he ran a story written by then journalist Helen Zille that proved Biko had been murdered.
The chair of the Press Council Joe Thloloe says he showed his bravery by running the story.
"They ran with it despite of threats from government; it was a very courageous move at that particular time."
Sparks made headlines last year when he described apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd as one of the many "smart" politicians he had met during his 64-year long career.
In response to the criticism he said that while Verwoerd's policies were monstrous, the politician built the National Party in an extraordinarily effective way.
"What am I supposed to do? Am I supposed to say he was dumb or stupid? He wasn't stupid."
Additional reporting by Masa Kekana