WJP recognised once again at the 2015 Webber Wentzel Legal Journalist Awards

Senior journalist Carolyn Raphaely with Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, after the award ceremony.


Congratulations to Carolyn Raphaely, Senior Journalist at the WJP, who was the runner up in this year’s Webber Wentzel Legal Journalist of the Year Awards.

The article, “11-year battle to prove innocence takes its toll”, was entered into the print category and tells the story of Thembekile Molaudzi, a man who spent 11 years in prison for a crime he did not commit.

Thembekile was accused of murdering a police officer and ultimately convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment. The only evidence against him was recanted hearsay evidence of a co-accused which the Constitutional Court later ruled was unconstitutional. Armed with only a grade 10 education and certain of his innocence, Thembekile taught himself the law and fought tirelessly to win his freedom.

Carolyn’s work at the WJP highlights the important role of investigative journalism in exposing miscarriages of justice in South Africa. It also highlights the potential impact of stories like Thembekile’s, which help to create a more informed discourse about crime and prisons.

“Occasionally, in life you meet someone who changes the way you think, who shifts your perspective,” says Carolyn, “I never expected to find that person wearing orange overalls behind the bars of Zonderwater prison. Yet Thembekile Molaudzi – a man who never should have been there in the first place – has taught me an inordinate amount about life, the law, patience, persistence, and most importantly forgiveness.”

We are very proud of Carolyn who, by now, has several awards under her belt. She was Webber Wentzel Legal Journalist of the Year in 2011 and also runner-up in 2012.

Founded in 1999, the Webber Wentzel Legal Journalist of the Year Award aims to recognise excellence in the field of legal reporting and especially journalists who strive to illuminate problems within South Africa’s criminal justice system.


About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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