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About amaBhungane

The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism NPC is a non-profit company founded to develop investigative journalism in the public interest. 

We are mandated to do so through:

  • The best practice of investigations; 
  • Transferring investigative skills to other journalists; and
  • Advocating for the information rights investigative journalists need to do their work.

Through these activities, we hope to promote a free and worthy media, and open, accountable and just democracy.

AmaBhungane is isiZulu for the Dung Beetles.

Why non-profit?

Investigative journalism helps to promote open, accountable and just democracy by exposing wrongdoing and holding power to account. However, investigative journalism faces internal threats (resource constraints in a commercial and changing media environment) and external threats (restrictive laws, policies and practices).

Investigative journalism is an expensive, risky investment. It needs time and resources to succeed; to uncover facts beyond the apparent; to hold the powerful to account.

In a purely commercial environment, investigative journalism often struggles to compete with instantly gratifying, fast-food journalism - the kind that sells papers today but wraps fish tomorrow.

Non-profit, donor funded models represent an alternative gaining ground worldwide. Adequate funding without a profit motive helps to ensure that the public interest in the exposure of wrongdoing is served.


Relationship with funders

To preserve our independence, amaBhungane seeks donations from a multiplicity of  funders over time, and do not accept government or corporate funding, or funding for specific stories.


Legal status, mandate and governance

We are registered in South Africa as a non-profit company, and have Public Benefit Organisation tax-exempt status from the South African Revenue Service. Our mandate is expressed as follows:

"The Object of the Company is to promote open, accountable and just democracy, and a free press capable and worthy of performing this duty. To do so, the Company will develop investigative journalism in the public interest, inter alia by engaging in its best practice, by transferring investigative skills to other journalists, and by helping to secure the information rights investigative journalists need to do their work."

Sam Sole and Stefaans Brümmer, veteran investigative journalists, are amaBhungane's joint managing partners. They answer to a board of directors consisting of:

  • Professor Tawana Kupe, Wits University deputy vice chancellor (chair) 
  • Angela Quintal, former political writer and editor 
  • Nic Dawes, chief editorial officer of the Hindustan Times 
  • Sam Sole 
  • Stefaans Brümmer

amaBhungane subscribes to the Code of Ethics and Conduct for South African Print and Online Media that prescribes news that is truthful, accurate, fair and balanced. If we don’t live up to the Code, within 20 days of the date of publication of the material, please contact the Press Ombud at 011 484 3612/8, fax: 011 4843619, or website: www.presscouncil.org.za


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