Sunday Times reporters Stephan Hofstatter, Mzilikazi wa Afrika and Rob Rose have been honoured with an international investigative journalism award for their expose on murders committed by the rogue Cato Manor Police Unit in KwaZulu Natal.
The team was named as the winners of the Global Shining Light Award, presented at the Global Investigative Journalism Network in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“Stephan, Rob and Mzilikazi represent the finest of investigative journalists in South Africa and this award reflects the excellent work that they consistently deliver. To have won from among 65 entries drawn from 28 countries further entrenches them and the Sunday Times as leaders in the field of investigative journalism,” says editor of the newspaper, Phylicia Oppelt.
The award acknowledges the bravery and unrelenting perseverance of journalists operating in circumstances where their lives are threatened, particularly in developing or transitioning countries.
The story, ‘Cato Manor: Inside a South African Police Death Squad’, resulted in the reporters received death threats and were in fact physically attacked. Judges said “this was not a one-off story. The Sunday Times kept going, continuing to report the story for months.” They said brave, unrelenting work prompted a government investigation that resulted in the disbanding of the unit, with 30 officers being charged with crimes, among them murder.
The entries were judged by six representatives from five countries: