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Allister Sparks

Journalist and lecturer

Allister Sparks is a journalist, writer and lecturer living in South Africa.

He is a fifth-generation South African and direct descendant of the 1820 Settlers on both paternal and maternal sides of his family.

Mr. Sparks began work as a reporter on the Queenstown Daily Representative in 1951. He was appointed an Assistant Editor of the Rand Daily Mail in 1967 — and served as its editor from 1977 to 1981.

Under Mr. Sparks’s editorship, the Rand Daily Mail exposed a major scandal in the government information services, the so-called "Muldergate Scandal" of 1979.

Later on, he was dismissed as Editor of the Rand Daily Mail following a controversial decision by the newspaper company’s Board of Directors to make the paper appeal more to the country’s affluent white community — and less to the poorer blacks.

At the end of 1981, Mr. Sparks became the South Africa Correspondent for The Washington Post, The Observer in Britain, and Holland’s leading business daily, the NRC Handelsblad.

In 1995, Mr. Sparks was appointed to the Board of the South African Broadcasting Corporation by President Mandela.

In 1997, he became the editor of the Corporation’s television news and current affairs. In that capacity, he launched a 24-hour Africa news channel, called SABC-Africa, for satellite broadcast to the entire African continent.

Articles by Allister Sparks

South Africa is Going Soft on Zimbabwe

What keeps South Africa's president Thabo Mbeki from intervening in Zimbabwe to prevent another African crisis?

February 20, 2004

Tackling South Africa’s Problems

What social, political and economic challenges remain in South Africa's future?

January 31, 2004