Max du Preez

Cape Town based Max du Preez is a veteran South African journalist, author, and public speaker. He is a highly regarded political analyst because of his deep insights into the political dynamics of the last three decades, his access to the main political actors and his honest, forthright approach.

After graduating in Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch in 1973, he worked as a newspaper journalist covering South African politics and the conflicts in its neighbouring states.

In 1987 he was a member of Frederik van Zyl Slabbert’s group that held talks with the ANC’s exiled leadership in Dakar, Senegal. In 1988 he founded and edited the pioneering anti-apartheid weekly Vrye Weekblad. When it was closed down in 1994, he joined the South African Broadcast Corporation as a documentary filmmaker and anchor. He produced and presented the influential 87 documentaries on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, The Special Report on the TRC, and the award-winning actuality programme Special Assignment.

He is the author of twelve books on South African history and politics, including The Rough Guide to Nelson Mandela published internationally, and A Rumour of Spring ‘ South Africa After Twenty Years of Democracy, published in November 2013.

Among his many awards are The Louis M Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism from the Niemann Fellows at Harvard University; the Nat Nakasa Award for Courageous Journalism from the SA National Editors’ Forum; the Pringle Prize from the National Union of Journalists; the Award for Outstanding Journalism from the Foreign Correspondents Association; the Yale Globalist International Journalist of 2006; and an honorary degree from the University of Cape Town.

He is Extraordinary Professor at the School of Communications at Northwest University and a Fellow of the Centre for Leadership Ethics in Africa at the University of Fort Hare.