The Fund was set up in 2006 in Wits Journalism as the Taco Kuiper Fund, with the support of the Valley Trust. In 2019, it was renamed the Henry Nxumalo Fund after the legendary and courageous South African journalist who did groundbreaking undercover exposés for Drum Magazine in the 1950s, and was killed while doing his work. In 2021, it became an independent non-profit company working in partnership with Wits Journalism.
Anton Harber is the founder and chair of the Fund’s board. Harber is Caxton Professor of Journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand and a board member of the Global Investigative Journalism Network and the Centre for Collaborative Investigative Journalism. He has been a journalist for 40 years, was a founding editor of the Mail & Guardian and editor-in-chief of television channel eNCA. He was an executive director of Kagiso Media and CEO of Kagiso Broadcasting. His latest book is So, for the record: Behind the headlines in an era of state capture.
Thabo Leshilo is Politics and Society editor at The Conversation Africa. He is a journalist and editor with 30 years of experience. He is a former editor of Pretoria News, Sowetan, Sunday World and Business Times. He has been a political reporter and news editor and has written extensively on events in South Africa as a reporter, features writer, and columnist. Leshilo’s main areas of interest are human rights, politics and social justice.
Leshilo has also worked as a communications strategist. Leshilo is a past winner of the Sanlam Business Journalist of the Year Award (small business section). He is a former Nieman Fellow in journalism at Harvard University (2008/2009). He holds a Masters degree in Applied Ethics from Wits University, a B. Admin degree with majors in Public Administration, International Relations and Political Development from the University of Limpopo.
Thandeka Nxumalo, who works in the financial sector, is a niece of Henry Nxumalo and represents the family on the Foundation. She is an entrepreneur, a marketing student, spiritual leader and Life Coach for young women.
The current core funder is the Millenium Trust. Others funders have been the Valley Trust, the Ford Foundation (Logos) and anonymous donors.