Aggrey Klaaste

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Aggrey Zola Klaaste (6 January 1940 – 19 June 2004) was a South African newspaper journalist and editor. He was best known for being editor of the Soweto-based newspaper, the Sowetan, from 1988 to 2002, he introduced the concept of "nation building" while editor of the Sowetan and spent much of his time and energy promoting the idea.

Klaaste was born in Kimberley as one of eight children. When he was three, his family moved to Sophiatown in Johannesburg, where his father became a clerk at a gold mine. In 1955, when Sophiatown was dismantled, the family moved to Meadowlands in Soweto.

He began studying at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1958 and graduated in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Klaaste was one of the last blacks to have completed a degree at the university before it was closed to blacks by apartheid laws.

After graduating he became a journalist, first with Drum magazine and subsequently with The World (which was banned by the South African government in 1977) and The Post (which became the Sowetan in 1981). In 1977 he was arrested along with The World editor at the time, Percy Qoboza, and spent nine months in jail.

Prior to his death, he was an executive with the black empowerment company, New Africa Investment Ltd. (NAIL) as well as the chairperson of the Johannesburg Tourism Company.

He was voted 58th in the Top 100 Great South Africans in 2004.

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