Anti-apartheid author Hugh Lewin dies

Hugh Lewin‚ a journalist and acclaimed author who was jailed under apartheid in the 1960s‚ has died at the age of 79 at his Johannesburg home‚ friends said on Thursday.

Hugh Lewin
Pic Martin Rhodes
© Business Day

Lewin won the 2012 Sunday Times Literary Awards’ 24th Alan Paton Award for non-fiction for his memoir‚ Stones Against the Mirror.

The book — a story of friendship and betrayal in the struggle against apartheid — was also awarded a special prize for its importance in increasing awareness of human rights by the International Human Rights Book Award jury two years later.

Lewin served seven years in prison for sabotage after being detained by the security police in 1964 and wrote his memoir in an attempt to come to terms with his betrayal by his best friend.

He also received the Olive Schreiner prize for Bandiet out of Jail‚ his account of his time in Pretoria prison.

Lewin’s career spanned employment as a journalist for the Natal Witness‚ Drum and Golden City Post. After serving the full term of his sentence for sabotage activities against the apartheid state‚ he left SA on a “permanent departure permit” in December 1971.

Ten years in exile in London were followed by 10 years in Zimbabwe.

He returned to SA in 1992 and became director of the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism. Later‚ he worked as a freelance media trainer.


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