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Author Focus

Hennie van Deventer
Biographical info

Hennie van Deventer (72) regards himself as essentially a newspaperman. His Naspers career of almost 40 years ended in 1998, when he retired as executive head of the newspaper section.

From 1980 to 1992 he was editor of Die Volksblad (now Volksblad) in Bloemfontein. In the 1970s he was the first news editor of Beeld in Johannesburg, where he later became assistant editor. He is the exclusive sponsor of the word “koerant” and a sponsor of the word “joernalis” at the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (the “Oxford” of the Afrikaans language).
 
He is the author of 17 books.  These include four volumes of humorous sketches Scoops en skandes (Tafelberg, 1993), Flaters en kraters (Tafelberg, 1996), Oos, wes – reismoles (Human & Rousseau, 1998) and Praat-praat in Tamatiestraat (Griffel, 2010);  the career memoirs Kroniek van ‘n koerantman (Tarlehoet, 1998), In kamera (Protea Boekhuis, 2003) and Byl in my bos (Griffel, 2009); the “bush  books” Buurman van die Wildtuin (Tarlehoet, 2004), Mayafudi (Tarlehoet, 2005) and Duisend dae langs die Sabie (Tarlehoet, 2011); a selection of “dog(gy) tales”, 'n Vriend vir Altyd  (Human & Rousseau, 2000), and one e-book, Spore in die Bos  (e-books for Africa, 2012).
 
Awards include Naspers’ highest accolade, the Phil Weber Medal. He  was one of the first persons to be awarded a Fellowship of Print Media SA, the industry body which he chaired in 1997, and a Nieman Fellow (class of 1976/77) at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Free State University awarded him a Centenary Medal in 2004 and he received dux and laureate colours from his Alma Mater, the University of Pretoria. His achievements on national level earned him the only medal of honour awarded by the Hoër Volkskool in Potchefstroom, where he matriculated. 
 
He is a member of the Academy for Science and Arts and the Heritage Foundation, and a lifelong Friend of the Voortrekker Monument. He has previously served as a member of the executive board of the Afrikaner-Broederbond and the board of the Free State University, and was a director of Rapport Edms Bpk
 
He is married to Tokkie. The couple lives in Melkbosstrand. They have two children and four grandchildren.
 
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