Aggrey Klaaste

Editor, Deceased Person

1940 – 2004


Who was Aggrey Klaaste?

Aggrey Zola Klaaste 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 and The Post. 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. as well as the chairperson of the Johannesburg Tourism Company.

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Jan 6, 1940
Kimberley, Northern Cape
  • South Africa
  • University of the Witwatersrand
Jun 19, 2004

on July 23, 2013


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