President Jacob Zuma has extended his condolences to the family of well-known veteran journalist, Allister Sparks.
Speaking in a statement, the presidency said: “Mr. Sparks was an experienced journalist, author, and political commentator. He developed and trained many journalists, especially during his tenure as an editor.
He made his mark in the fight for a free South Africa and proved that the pen is mightier than the sword. We extend our deepest condolences to his family.”
Sparks died on Monday morning at the Morningside clinic from a heart attack after spending 12 days in the Morningside Mediclinic for a treatment of an infection.
His death was confirmed by his son, Michael Sparks on Monday.
“It seemed as though he was getting over the infection over the past few days and he took less medication. The old soldier’s body could simply not go on,” Michael disclosed.
Sparks spent his last days with his four sons, Michael, Simon, Andrew and Julian.
Life And Times Of Allister Sparks
He was born in Cathcart in the Eastern Cape in 1933. He began his career as a reporter in 1951. The 83-year-old was editor of the Rand Daily Mail when the newspaper exposed a clandestine plan by the apartheid government to use state resources for a propaganda campaign in the late 1970s.
The infamous scandal eventually led to the resignation of Prime Minister John Vorster.
He will be fondly remembered for documenting injustices under white minority rule as well as South Africa’s evolution as a multiracial democracy.
On Sparks’ birthday – March 10, – he launched his sixth book — “The Sword and the Pen”. The book covered his 64 years of journalism, as well as South Africa’s early years of apartheid.
BuzzSouthAfrica learned that a memorial in honor of the veteran journalist is being planned for Friday, October 14 at 11:00 at the Braamfontein Crematorium.