The Witness (South African newspaper)

The Witness (South African Newspaper)

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The Witness (South African newspaper)

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The Witness (previously The Natal Witness) is a daily newspaper published in Pietermaritzburg. It mainly serves readers in Pietermaritzburg and the inland areas of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.  It is the oldest continuously-published newspaper in South Africa, having first been published on 27 February 1846.  Until 2000, when it became 50 percent owned by the Media24 group, it was the last independently owned mainstream daily newspaper in South Africa. Media24 signed an agreement to buy the remaining 50% shares in the Natal Witness Printing and Publishing company in July 2010


<strong>The Buchanan Years 1846 - 1872</strong>

The founding editor and first proprietor of the newspaper was David Dale Buchanan, who was born in New Lanark, Scotland in 1819.  In 1829 he arrived in Cape Town in the company of his elder brother, William.  In Cape Town, he came into contact with men like Thomas Pringle and John Fairbairn who played a prominent role in establishing the freedom of the press during the autocratic governorship of Lord Charles Somerset.  Another influence was the missionary Dr John Philip, whose liberal ideas concerning the indigenous people of the Cape Colony had a profound influence on the youthful Buchanan.  While still in the Cape he went into partnership with his brother to set up the Cape Town Mail.  In January 1846, he disembarked with his family from the Julia in Durban and from there proceeded inland to Pietermaritzburg,...
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