Mondi Shanduka Newspaper Awards zooms in on outstanding photojournalism

The Mondi Shanduka Newspaper Awards acknowledged the industry’s top photojournalists, among 10 other category winners, at the 10th annual awards ceremony at Turbine Hall in Johannesburg yesterday (10 May 2011).

From the Press release: “This year saw an impressive increase in entries from last year, coming from a total of 37 newspapers. The category with the most entries was News Photographs with 125 submissions, while Presentation received the least with 22. The publications with the most winners this year are Beeld and Mail & Guardian. NEWS PHOTOGRAPHSThe winner in the News Photographs category is Judy de Vega of The Herald for her entry ‘Pensioners caught in protest crossfire chaos’. She came out tops out of 125 entries. De Vega describes how two pensioners, Melafe Majola (78), mother of Cricket SA chief executive Gerald Majola, and her friend Joy Timberlake, got caught amid a violent protest: “On 13 October 2010, chaos erupted in Port Elizabeth after police used stun grenades to disperse a group of about 100 housing contractors who protested in front of the Old Wool Exchange building where ANC party officials were having a caucus meeting,” explains de Vega. “Instinctively I started to take photographs. People were stampeding, fists were flying and blood flowed as they ran in different directions. While capturing the chaos I suddenly noticed Majola and Timberlake in my frame, fearfully clinging to one another. The crowds had ‘swallowed’ them and they sat waiting for the chaos to pass.” The judges said that De Vega’s winning photograph not only captures the news event itself and reflects the incredible closeness and courage of the photographer, but shows that in situations which might feel life-threatening, we all feel the same fear and vulnerability and are stripped of prejudice around age, race and religion. Finalist:· Felix Dlangamandla — ‘Delivery — ”n Man lei skool kinders verby klipgooiers tydens ”n diens leweringsbetoging in Orange Farm, suid van Johannesburg’ (Beeld and Rapport) Commendations:· Paballo Thekiso — ‘Rescued babies’ (Saturday Star)· Cornel van Heerden — ‘Panjo’ (Foto 24)· James Oatway — ‘Haiti’ (Sunday Times) FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHSThe Feature Photographs category, which attracted an impressive 105 entries, was won by Cornel van Heerden of Foto 24, an agency supplying photos to Beeld, Rapport, Die Burger and Volksblad, for his ‘Hier is ET doodgekap’ entry, which the judges said was ‘descriptive in detail’. Van Heerden notes, “I wanted to convey exactly the circumstances under which Eugène Terre’Blanche died and viewers to feel as if they were standing right there, on the scene.” Finalists:· Herman Verwey — ‘Piet se laaste dossier’ (Beeld)· Phill Magakoe — ‘Knights of the city — Pretoria heroes in blue’ (Pretoria News)· Alon Skuy — ‘Back to nature’ (The Times)· Theana Breugem — ‘Ratte’ (Beeld)· Deaan Vivier — ‘JZ moes dalk kantoor soek in die mis’ (Foto 24 and Beeld) Commendations:· Alet Pretorius — ‘Mnr & Mej Dwergiefees’ (Foto 24, Beeld, Die Burger, Volksblad and Rapport)· Cornel van Heerden — ‘SA Rodeo’ series (Foto 24) SPORTS PHOTOGRAPHSAlon Skuy clinched the Sports Photograph award for his ‘Hand of devil’ photograph that was taken during the FIFA 2010 World Cup quarterfinal between Ghana and Uruguay and appeared in The Times. “The winning photograph by Alon Skuy is an incredible image capturing a moment which had such significance to the World Cup 2010,” said the judges. “Uruguay’s Luis Suarez handballs an attempt at goal by one of Ghana’s players in the dying seconds of extra time, while the team looks on in horror. Referencing Diego Maradona’s goal against England in 1986, Suarez later said: ‘Mine is the real ‘hand of God’. I made the save of the tournament’,” says Skuy. “I trained my lens on the activity in the moments leading up to Suarez’s handball, photographing the action, and a penalty was awarded to the Ghanaians for the foul committed inside the box. Only later, when I was filing, did I see that I had a very rare photograph of the handball; a turning point in the World Cup and heartbreak for Ghana and Africa.” Finalists:· Deaan Vivier — Totaal verslae (Foto 24, Beeld, Die Burger, Volksblad and Rapport)· Herman Verwey — Rand van ewigheid (Rapport)· Antoine de Ras — Just for kicks (The Star) Panel convenor, Professor Guy Berger, was supported by Jodi Bieber, 2011 World Press Photo Award winner, as well as former editors and senior journalists Pippa Green, Joe Latakgomo, Tyrone August, David Wightman, Juby Mayet, Liesl Louw, Mathatha Tsedu, Tumi Makgabo, Paula Fray, Peter Sullivan, Mike Siluma, Adrienne Sichel and Arrie Rossouw. Follow @MondiShanduka on Twitter and find the rest of the winners at www.printmedia.org.za” <http://www.printmedia.org.za> .