Nat Nakasa remains returned to

Nat Nakasa remains returned to South Africa

The remains of Nat Nakasa are returned to South Africa after being interred in the US for nearly half a century

Nat Nakasa remains returned to

The remains of South African anti-apartheid activist and writer Nathaniel Ndazana Nakasa, known as Nat Nakasa, have been repatriated.

Nakasa had died in what appeared to be suicide while in exile in the US in 1965. A memorial ceremony held in New York last weekend and attended by his sister marked the exhuming of his body in preparation for the return to South Africa. South Africa’s Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa also attended the service, saying that it marked the ending of a “horrific chapter.”

South African government officials lay flowers over the coffin containing the remains of anti apartheid activist and former DRUM Magazine journalist Nathaniel 'Nat' Nakasa upon arrival at the King Shaka International airport on August 19, 2014 in Durban, South Africa. Photo by Rajesh Jantilal/AFP/Getty Images

Photo by Rajesh Jantilal/AFP/Getty Images

Nakasa’s story takes a central place in the narrative of the history of apartheid. Hindered from developing his career in journalism as a black South African, Nat Nakasa was awarded a fellowship at Harvard University in 1964, aged 27. When he applied for a passport to leave the country, the government refused to issue him documentation, forcing him to leave on an exit permit and knowing fully well that he would not be able to come back home again. One year later, Nat Nakasa died in a fall from a skyscraper, which has widely been ruled as a suicide.

The reburial of the remains is scheduled for September 13 in Heroes’ Acre in Nakasa’s KwaZulu Natal hometown, Chesterville. The ceremony will be presided over by President Jacob Zuma.