2017 Speakers


 6th International African Writers Day Lecture



The Writer as a Drum Major of Conscience, Restoration & Transformation


Prof Ntombizodwa Motsa, a Full Professor in English, Ntombizodwa Motsa is a Fulbright Scholar, a Researcher, Writer and Social Engineer. She has served as Head of the Department: English Studies (UNISA) from 2006 -2011. At present, she is the Country Director at UNISA’s Ethiopia Centre for Graduate Studies in Addis Ababa, where she has served from 2012 to date.  Her research interests are William Shakespeare, John Milton, Wole Soyinka, English Renaissance, Post-War II Drama, The Angry Young Men; the Victorian Novel; African Oral Lore; the Diaspora, Leadership Decoloniality in Africa.

Her notable achievements include interviewing Eskia Mphahlele, Wole Soyinka, Lionel Ngakane, Abiola Irele, James Gibbs, Alain Ricárd and Arnold Wesker. She has co-publishing with Wole Soyinka. In addition to literary studies, Motsa enjoys teaching Academic Writing, English Literature, Language and Methods of Research to Masters & Doctoral students.

She is also a writer of drama, the short story and poetry in both English and siSwati.

The several academic bodies on which she serves include the NRF, the Fulbright evaluation and adjudication panels, the Pan-South African Languages Board (Deputy Chair) and the South African Literature Awards (Chair of Board).  She is the current President of the Wole Soyinka Society.

As a translator, interpreter and researcher, the relevance of English studies to Africa remains her quest and the primary objective is educating the (African) child about the greatness of being. That is why writing siSwati children’s books and her translation of A Long Walk to Freedom to siSwati stands as a seminal contribution to the journey unto self.



Prof Kgomotso Masemola


The Project Leader of NIHSS Interdisciplinary Working Group on Black South African Bography, Prof Kgomotso Michael Masemola holds a PhD from the university of Sheffield (UK), over and above his BA (Wits), BA Hons (Wits), and MA (Natal) degrees. He is an NRF-rated full Professor (C2) and a Quality Assurance Champion in the College of Human Sciences at Unisa. He has won excellence awards throughout his career – from the Universities of UK Overseas Research Student Award for PhD Research, in addition to NRF Overseas Doctoral Scholarship. Canon Collins Trust and Vice-Chancellor’s Award at the University of Sheffield, to the Research Excellence Award at North-West University (2010) and the excellence Award at Unisa (2014). Alongside Quality Assurance responsibilities, he has been involved in the NIHSS Doctoral School as a Mentor. A member of the Specialist Committee for evaluating NRF-Rating Applications, Prof Masemola has also Chaired Panels at the National Research Foundation. He has a sound Postgraduate supervision and publications record, the latest of which appear as a chapter in the Oxford History of the Novel in English. The Novel in Africa and the Caribbean since 1950 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016) as well as a book Black South African Autobiography After Deleuze: Becoming in Self-Testimony, (Leiden: Rodopi/Brill, 2007).


Towards The Establishment Of The Writers Organisation

Prof Andries Walter Oliphant is a literary scholar and cultural policy advisor. He chaired the Ministerial Arts and Culture Task Team and co-wrote the White Paper on Arts, Culture and Heritage.

He is co-editor of the Journal of Literary Studies and Deputy Editor of the English Academy Review. He serves on the editorial boards of Alternation: Interdisciplinary Journal of the Arts and Humanities in Southern Africa, Scrutiny 2: Issues English Studies in Southern Africa and De Arte. He is Founding Editor of Baobab: South African Journal of New Writing.

His writings on South African literature, art and photography are published locally and internationally. He is the recipient of the Thomas Pringle Award for Short Stories and the Book Journalist of the Year Award.

He heads the Division of Theory of Literature at the University of South Africa. He is a Research Fellow at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection, commissioned by the Department of Arts and Culture to draft a National Strategy on Social Cohesion and Nation Building.


Lisa Combrinck was born in Cape Town in 1967. She attended the University of Cape Town where she obtained a BA Honours degree in African Studies and an MA degree in Creative Writing. She has worked as an arts and education reporter for South newspaper as assistant editor and coordinator of the Southern African Review of Books and as a lecturer in the English Department of the Mamelodi Campus of Vista University in Pretoria. She is currently a spokesperson at the Department of Arts and Culture. She is former vice-president of the Congress of South African Writers, an executive member and Chair or the Literature Panel.of the National Arts Council of South Africa and part of an organising committee spearheading the Against All Odds: African Languages and Literature into the 21st Century Initiative. She co-edited an anthology of new South African and Nigerian poetry together with the Nigerian writer, Aderemi, Raji-Oyelade. Her poems have been widely anthologised in South Africa and some have been published in German translation. Lisa has performed her poetry to international audiences. Her poetry has been described as combining the erotic with the political.


Professor Sihawukele Ngubane (Chairman) is the Head of Teaching and Learning in the School of Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is an Onomastician and an author of educational and literary isiZulu books. Chairperson of the Zulu Writers Guild, ANFASA and Dramatic and Artistic Literary Rights Organisation (Pty) Ltd.

Prof Nhlanhla Maake

Chairperson: Africa Century International African Writers Conference Intellectual Content Development Panel, he is novelist, dramatist, literary critic, and language activist. He graduated with a BA degree at the then University of the North (now Limpopo), BA Hons (Wits University), Hons BA (University of South Africa), MLitt (University of Strathclyde, UK), MLitt (University of Keele, UK), DLitt et Phil (University of South Africa) and the Certificate in Higher Education Management (Wits University). His areas of research are drama, theatre and literary studies.


Samuel Mazungwe Mtsweni has majored in isiZulu in his first Junior Degree with UNISA in 1995 as well as Senior Degree with the University of Pretoria in 1996. His modules included literature studies as well as literature development for learners. In 2002, he obtained a Senior B Tech Degree in Education Management with the then Pretoria Technikon presently known as the University of Technology (TUT). In 2010, Mtsweni obtained a Senior Degree in isiNdebele Linguistics Translation-and Interpreting with UNISA.


He has been involved in isiNdebele Language and Literature Development and promotion, playing different roles, including being Chairperson of isiYalo National Writers Guild, from 2000 to date, a compiler of an anthology of poems, called Isilulu Seenkondlo for Grades 10, 11 and 12, published in 2004; a co-author of the second and third anthology books, called ‘Iinkutani’ and ‘the “IbutheleloLeenkutani’, for Grades 10 and 11, published in 2006 respectively; conducted several workshops with our budding authors on literature development on genres such as short stories, poetry, folklore, and drama; a Manager of isiNdebele Language Research and Development Centre (isiNdebele LRDC)from 2006 to 2008, editing and proofreading of isiNdebele Bilingual, Monolingual and Trilingual Dictionaries; participated in NCS and CAPS School Learning Material Development and Translation with Oxford University from 2007 to 2012; participated in successfully facilitating the compilation of about 5 Local Municipalities’ Language Policy drafts between 2007 and 2009, i.e. Local Municipalities such as; EMakhazeni Local Municipality, eHlanzeni Local Municipality, Dr. JS Moroka Local Municipality, Govan Mbeki Local Municipality, as well as Thembisile Hani Local Municipality.


Dr Sindiwe Magona was born in Umtata on 27 August 1943 and grew up in Gugulethu on the Cape Flats. She finished high school through a correspondence course, followed by a BA Degree from the University of South Africa. In 1981 she embarked on a Masters’ Degree in Social Work at Columbia University in New York. On completion, she successfully applied for a position at the United Nations. Until 1994 she presented UN radio programmes about the UN’s role in ending Apartheid. She then worked in the UN’s Public Information Department until 2003, when she retired and returned to Cape Town.

Sindiwe Magona is a writer, poet, dramatist, storyteller, actress and motivational speaker. She has published two autobiographical works: To My Children’s Children (1990) and Forced to Grow (1992). Her first novel, The Best Meal Ever!, was published in 1998. She has also written a number of children’s books, including The Best Meal Ever! and Life is a Hard But Beautiful Thing. In 2008 her novel Beauty’s Gift was published. The AIDS-activist Zackie Achmat described it as “one of the most important books about HIV/AIDS in our country”.



Dr Mathene Mahanke is a Manager and Head of Language Services in the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Free State. He is a published author, a training provider and an advisor in the teaching of Sesotho literature.

He obtained his BA [Sesotho, History & Philosophy] and BA Honours [Sesotho] degrees from the University of the North (now Limpopo), and passed his Masters (cum laude), and PhD [Language Studies] degrees at the University of the Free State.

He lectured in Sesotho at the Qwaqwa campus of the University of the North (1982 – 1997); joined the private sector for 10 years. In 2006 he was appointed Curator for Sesotho Literature Museum; later the Manager of museums in the Free State.

He grew up at Mahankeng Village, in Qwaqwa and attended Qwaqwa Primary and Makabelane High schools.

Sabata-mpho Mokae is a novelist, translator and academic. He writes in English and Setswana (a southern African language). He is the author of a teen novella Dikeledi and a biography The Story of Sol T. Plaatje. His first novella, Ga ke Modisa won the M-Net Literary Award for Best Novel in Setswana as well as the M-Net Film Award in 2013. He also won the South African Literary Award in 2011. In 2014 he was a writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa in the USA. He has translated Gcina Mhlophe’s two children’s books, Semaka sa Dinaane [Our Story Magic] and Dinaane tsa Aforika [Stories of Africa] from English to Setswana. Mokae also received the inaugural Lesedi la Afrika Award in 2017. Mokae is teaching creative writing at the Sol Plaatje University in Kimberley, South Africa.





Heinrich Dirk is the Professional Learning Officer at Via Afrika. To him, there is no greater pleasure than witnessing an individual unlock their true potential and he firmly believes technology allows this on a much larger scale.

Prior to this, Heinrich was involved in the implementation of a tablet-based primary schools mathematics programme in the South African education market. Before joining Via Afrika, he ran a mathematics tutoring service, mixing it with his interest in technology by working within the educational hardware sector. He was responsible for providing technology solutions to schools and by assisting teachers to become comfortable with technology to empower their teaching and improve learning outcomes.

2017 SA Literary Awards Profiles

First-time Published Author Award

Author: Amy Jephta

Publication: Kristalvlakte

Amy Jephta is a filmmaker, playwright, screenwriter, director and academic. An alumni of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York, she has been a voice and acting lecturer at City Varsity in Cape Town and the Woodward School for Contemporary Art in Vancouver and an invited lecturer at CUNY, New York.

As a playwright, her work has been published in South Africa, performed at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town, the Riksteatern in Stockholm, and at the Bush Theatre, Theatre 503 and the Jermyn Street Theatres in London.

Amy has three feature film writing credits to her name and a fourth in development, including the biopic Ellen (set for national release in 2018) and the NFVF funded short film, Small Moving Parts. Her most recent film, Soldaat, won the Best Script and Best Short Film categories at the 2017 KykNet Silwerskermfees. (see full profile on www.sala,org.za)


Author: Moses Shimo Seletisha

Publication: Tšhutšhumakgala – Tša Bophelo bja Tlokwe Frans Maserumule


Moses Shimo Seletisha is a radical performance poet and author of Tšhutšhumakgala: Biography of Tlokwe Maserumule (his first published title). He hails from rural Ga-Matlala ‘a Rakgwadi (Mooihoek village), near Marble Hall, Limpopo. An intellectual whose area of interest is African languages and their social context, Seletisha has chosen to restrict himself to writing in no language other than Sepedi. Some of his work has featured in various literary journals, including: Botsotso, 2017 Sol Plaatje European Union Poetry Award finalist, megaArtists magazine, kasiekultureblog, kaganogfblog, poetrypotion and Sowetan.



Author: Mohale Mashigo

Publication: The Yearning

Mohale Mashigo is a multi-disciplinary storyteller. The Yearning is her debut novel that recently won the University of Johannesburg Prize for debut fiction. In addition to The Yearning, Mashigo has written a YA adaptation of the film Beyond the River and Kwezi comic book series. She also writes frequently for several magazines and newspapers. (See full profile on www.sala.org)


k.Sello Duiker Memorial Literary Award

Author: Kopano Matlwa

Publication: Period Pain

Kopano Matlwa is one of South Africa’s most vibrant young writers and winner of the European Union Literary Award 2007. A medical graduate, Kopano is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, Coconut and Spilt Milk which won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in 2010. She has recently returned to South Africa after completing an MSc in Global Health Science and is currently reading for a DPhil in Population Health at the University of Oxford.


Author: Nthikeng Mohlele

Publication: Pleasure

Nthikeng Mohlele attended the University of the Witwatersrand, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Dramatic Art, Publishing Studies and African Literature. He is the author of three critically acclaimed novels: The Scent of Bliss (2008), Small Things (2013) and Rusty Bell (2014). Pleasure (2016), Mohlele’s fourth novel, won the University of Johannesburg Prize for South African Writing in English. He has also twice been selected as one of the exceptional Young South Africans in the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans Report in the Arts and Entertainment category. Nthikeng Mohlele’s next novel is due to be published in 2018.


Poetry Award


Author: Helen Moffett

Publication: Prunings

Helen Moffett is a poet, freelance editor, academic and feminist activist. She has a PhD from the University of Cape Town, was a President’s Fellow at Princeton University, and has held post-doctoral fellowships at Mount Holyoke College, Emory University and UCT’s African Gender Institute. She has lectured as far afield as Trinidad and Alaska, but calls Cape Town home. Her publications include university textbooks, a treasury of landscape writings, Lovely Beyond Any Singing, a cricket book (The Art and Science of Cricket, with the late Bob Woolmer and Tim Noakes), an animal charity anthology (Stray, with Diane Awerbuck) and the Girl Walks In erotica series (with Sarah Lotz and Paige Nick under the nom de plume Helena S. Paige). She has published two poetry collections – Strange Fruit (Modjaji Books) and Prunings (uHlanga Press). Recent projects include the Short Story Day Africa anthology, Migrations, and a memoir of Rape Crisis. She blogs at https://www.helenmoffett.com/ and can be found on Twitter @heckitty.


Author: Ronelda S Kamfer

Publication: Hammie


Ronelda S Kamfer debuted in 2008 with her first collection, Noudat slapende, honed by Kwela publishers, for which she received the Eugene Marais award. In 2011 she dropped her second book, Grond/santekraam, also by Kwela publishers, which received the ABSA Kanna award in 2012.

She was writer in residence in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and in La Rochelle, France.

Her third poetry collection, Hammie, was published in 2016, which received the ATKV woordtrofee award the same year. All three collections have been translated and published in Dutch. An Italian translation of Grond/santekraam will be published in 2018 in Italy.

She is currently doing an MA at Rhodes University and completing a novel and a short film.

Author: Simphiwe Nolutshungu

Publication: Iingcango Zentliziyo

Simphiwe Nolutshungu published his first novel Amathunzi Ezolo in 1996 after winning a lot of local writing contests both in English and IsiXhosa. He did his creative writing with Rhodes University and thereafter qualified as a teacher at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

His publications include, Iingceba Zegazi (novel), Nolutshungu Avenue, Iingcango Zentliziyo. Some of his work has been published by Tyhini magazine, writing from here, Drum magazine, Sunday Sun newspaper and others.

Nolutshungu holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing with Rhodes University. He currently works as a lecturer at Cape Town University in the African Languages and Literature department and busy with his PhD research project.


Creative Non- Fiction Award

Author: Dikgang Moseneke

Publication: My Own Liberator

Dikgang Moseneke retired in May 2016 as the Deputy Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa and a Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa.  Before his appointment to the Constitutional Court, he was a judge of the High Court in Pretoria.

Dikgang Moseneke was born in December 1947 in Pretoria where he completed primary and secondary schooling.  During March 1963, at the age of 15 years and whilst in Std 8 (now Grade 10) he was arrested, detained and convicted for participating in political activity opposed to the apartheid regime.  Moseneke was sentenced in the Supreme Court, Pretoria to 10 years imprisonment, all of which he served on Robben Island.  Whilst on Robben Island, Moseneke studied privately and matriculated with a University entrance pass.  He enrolled with the University of South Africa (Unisa) where he obtained the BA degree majoring in English and Political Science.  Subsequently Moseneke obtained a B Iuris degree and thereafter completed the LLB degree.  All three degrees were conferred by the University of South Africa.

Shortly after leaving Robben Island, his professional career started in 1976 as an attorney’s clerk at the Pretoria law firm Dyasons and subsequently at the law firm Klagsbrun Incorporated.

He holds several degrees including BA degree majoring in English and Political Science, B Juris degree and LLB degree, all from the University of South Africa.

During the past 40 years, Moseneke has read numerous papers at law conferences, both at home and abroad and is widely published in academic journals and has recently published his memoir: My Own Liberator.


Moseneke also holds several honorary doctorates and is a recipient of numerous awards of honour, performance and excellence.  (see full profile on www.sala.org)

Author: Elsabé Brits

Publication: Emily Hobhouse – Geliefde Verraaier


Elsabé Brits is an award-winning South African journalist and author. She was specialist science reporter at the Afrikaans daily, Die Burger, for 17 years, and now writes for Netwerk24 and lives in Cape Town.

Literary Journalism Award


Author: Don Makatile

Publication/s: Body of work

Don Makatile is a trained journalist who gravitated towards literary journalism from very early in his career. He distinguished himself as a book critic and has done so at the newspapers he worked for as a Features Writer and Editor.

He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from Wits University where, as part of the course, he finished a full-length novel, titled AN INTERRUPTED DEATH.

He contributed to the US-based African books website www.africabookclub.com.

His short stories await a home in various anthologies. Only one so far, ON THE TRAIN TO RANDFONTEIN, has been accommodated – in an e-book the title of which THE SHORT STORY IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE SHORT STORY, was derived from a feature he wrote on the genre of short stories.

He writes for The Sunday Independent and privately runs the online literary magazine www.makatilemedia.com

Author: Phakama Mbonambi

Publication/s: Body of work

Phakama Mbonambi is a journalist and the publishing editor of Wordsetc, a literary journal he founded in 2007 to shine a spotlight on new South African writing.

He is a graduate of Rhodes University (BA Journalism) and Wits (BA Honours in Publishing).

He has worked in the production departments of the Sunday Times, Sportsday, The Star, Business Day and Sunday World.

He’s currently digging around the life of Aggrey Klaaste, the late larger-than-life editor of The Sowetan.


Nadine Gordimer Short story Award

Author: Nick Mulgrew

Publication: Stations


Nick Mulgrew was born in Durban in 1990. He is the author of three books, the latest of which is The First Law of Sadness. A Mandela Rhodes Scholar, Nick is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Pringle Award for Short Stories and the 2014 National Arts Festival Short Sharp Stories Award, was shortlisted for the 2015 White Review Prize, and was longlisted for the 2016 Edge Hill Prize. He currently lives in Cape Town, where he works as the publisher of uHlanga and the fiction editor of Prufrock.


Authors: Roela Hattingh

Publication: Kamee

Roela Hattingh’s debut short story book, Kamee, published by Human & Rousseau in 2015, is in part the product of the MA in creative writing, completed at the University of Pretoria in 2014. The study received the Marius Jooste prize (best MA dissertation in Creative Writing in Afrikaans) as well as NB- publisher’s award for MA in Creative Writing in Afrikaans. She received The UJ debut prize for Creative Writing in Afrikaans for Kamee in 2016.

She is currently enrolled for a PhD in Strategic Communication at the University of Johannesburg. (See full profile on www.sala.org.za)


Literary Translators Award

Author: Bridget Theron-Bushell

Publication: The Thirstland Trek 1874 – 1881


Bridget Theron holds a D Litt et Phil degree in History (Unisa 2002) and was a member of staff in the History Department at Unisa, where she lectured for more than 20 years. Since her retirement she has busied herself with editing for academic journals and post-graduate students in all fields, but her main focus over the years has been in creating accurate, yet lively renditions of publications from Afrikaans to English in the fields of history, current affairs and political science.

She has published numerous publications including books, academic articles and translations (see full profile on www.sala.org.za)


Authors: Jeff Opland, Wandile Kuse and Pamela Maseko

Publication: William Wellington Gqoba: Isizwe Esinembali -Xhosa Histories And Poetry (1873 – 1888)


Authors: Jeff Opland and Pamela Maseko

Publication: DLP.Yali-Manisi: Iimbali Zamanyange, Historical Poems


Jeff Opland earned a PhD in English and African Languages from the University of Cape Town in 1973. After teaching at the universities of Cape Town, Durban-Westville, Toronto and Leipzig, at Vassar College, and at Rhodes and Yale University, he retired in 2014 from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. He is the author of Anglo-Saxon Oral Poetry (1980), Xhosa Oral Poetry (1983) and Xhosa Poets and Poetry (2nd ed 2017), and has discovered, edited and translated Xhosa works by Nontsizi Mgqwetho (2007), Isaac Williams Wauchope (2008), W.W. Gqoba (2015), D.L.P. Yali-Manisi (2015), John Solilo (2016) and S.E.K. Mqhayi (2009 and 2017). An account of his twenty-nine-year association with Yali-Manisi, The Dassie and the Hunter, was published in 2005.


Pamela Maseko holds a PhD in Sociolinguistics in African Languages from Rhodes University. She taught at the University of Cape Town and currently teaches Sociolinguistics and Applied Language Studies, with a focus on Translation Studies, at Rhodes University. She has translated and adapted various literary fictional and non-fictional texts into isiXhosa, including texts in the Nelson Mandela Museum in Qunu, Mvezo and the Bhunga Building in Mthatha. With Jeff Opland she serves as General Editor of the Publications of The Opland Collection of Xhosa Literature. She has co-edited and co-translated W.W. Gqoba and D.L.P. Yali-Manisi in the Series. Besides the Historiography of isiXhosa literature, her other interests on the value of historical linguistics as a basis of offering assumptions about a society’s past, specifically South Africa’s precolonial past. Maseko has also written extensively on language policy and planning in South African higher education.


Wandile Kuse studied at the Universities of Fort Hare and Wisconsin-Madison where, influenced by A.C. Jordan, he earned an MA on iziduko and izibongo and a PhD on S.E.K. Mqhayi. He returned to South Africa in 1983 as Director of the Bureau for African Research and Documentation at the University of Transkei and retired in 2001.


Posthumous Literary Award 


The  Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd collection of !Xam and !Kun narratives, verses, songs, chants, drawings and other materials consisting of  over 150 notebooks running in some 13 000 pages is considered a unique cultural and literary collection which has been recognised by United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Council and entered into memory of the World Register.

The materials deal with the land, the rain, the history of the first people, the origin of the moon and stars, animals, cosmology, beliefs, ceremonies, art and information of the individual lives of the informants who had come to Cape Town as prisoners of the British Crown and were released into Bleek’s custody at his residence in Mowbray for linguistic and cultural research.

The five contributors, who came as prisoners from the Northern Cape, and contributed to the archive, are:

|A!kunta who arrived at Mowbray on 29 August 1870 and stayed until October 1873.

!Kabbo who stayed at Mowbray from February 1871 to October 1873

≠Kasin who stayed from November 1873 until March 1874.

Dia!kwain who came from December 1873 to March 1874.

!Kweiten ta || ken who came from June1874 to October 1874;

|Han≠kass’o who stayed from January 1878 to December 1879.

The archive enabled researchers and writers from South Africa and other parts of the world to produce a vast body of literature, including different genres of creative writing with only perfunctory acknowledgement to the five storytellers. In the light of this, and given the cultural value of the archive of which they are the oral authors, it is appropriate to bestow the SALA Posthumous Award on each of them.


Lifetime Achievement Literary Award

Authors: Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa

Publication: Body of work

Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa is known as an author of books on stories mixing traditional Zulu folklore, extra-terrestrial encounters and his own personally created fables. His most recent work is a graphic novel called the Tree of Life Trilogy based on his writings of his most famous book, Indaba my Children.


His publications include:

  1. Indaba, My Children (1964)
  2. Let Not My Country Die (1986)
  3. Song of the Stars: Lore of the Zulu Shaman (1996)
  4. Zulu Shaman: Dreams, Prophesies and Mysteries (2003)
  5. Woman of Four Paths: The Story of a Strange Black Woman in South Africa (2007)

(see full profile on www.sala.org.za)

Author: Aletta Matshediso Motimele

Publication: Body of work

Aletta Matshediso Motimele, well-known radio drama writer and actor, wrote and co-wrote more than thirty radio dramas; serial dramas, one-act play and books. Some of her dramas are compiled into books and read at schools.


She is a multi- award winner, including:

  • Arts Achievers Award, Mapungubwe
  • Eric Moloto Foundation award, Limpopo
  • Heritage Foundation Award, Mapungubwe
  • MEC Lifetime Achievers award
  • Women in writing, Centre for the Book award 2017
  • PALA awards – 2014.


In 1997 she was part of the crew that adapted/ translated OBE learning programmes in Sepedi language. (see full profile on www.sala.org.za)


Authors: Etienne Van Heerden

Publication: Body of work


Etienne van Heerden has published 28 books, some edited, and contributed to more than 65 anthologies worldwide. His books are published in 12 languages, namely Afrikaans, Russian, Greek, Hebrew, French, Norwegian, Finnish, Swedish, Danish, English, Dutch and German. Apart from books, his writing includes essays and journalism on culture and politics published worldwide in journals, magazines, leading newspapers and other publications.

He has won all the major South African literary awards, some more than once, e.g. the Hertzog Prize (twice), the CNA Literary Award (twice), the ATKV Award (five times), the Nadine Gordimer Short Story Award, the WA Hofmeyr Prize for Afrikaans Fiction (five times) the M-Net Literary Award (twice), the Eugène Marais Prize, the Rapport Prize for Fiction, the University of Johannesburg Prize for Literature and others. He also received the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival Pioneer Award as recognition for his work on language, literature and the electronic media, as well as the Financial Mail J&B Young Achievers Award. He received the Insig Afrikaans Unlimited Award in 2000.

He is emeritus professor at the University of Cape Town and founder-editor of www.litnet.co.za. His personal website is www.etiennevanheerden.co.za. (see full profile on www.sala.org.za)

Chairperson’s Award

The South African Literary Awards congratulate the recipient of the Chairperson’s Award.