Gwen Lister

Gwen Lister ( born December 5, 1953 in East London, South Africa ) is a Namibian journalist, publisher, apartheid opponent and campaigner for press freedom. She is the founder and editor in chief of the Namibian newspaper The Namibian and co-founder of the Media Institute of Southern Africa ( MISA ).



After her high school education at the University of Cape Town in 1975 Lister started her journalism career at the Windhoek Advertiser. In 1978 she founded the editor of the Advertiser, Hannes Smith, the Windhoek Observer. As political editor of the Observer itself Lister spoke regularly against South Africa's apartheid policy in Namibia. For this she was pursued by the authorities and made repeated false accusations in court. Her home was repeatedly searched and monitored her mail.

Establishment of the Namibian until the end of the South African occupation

1984, the Windhoek Observer was banned by the Media Commission in Pretoria, mainly because of Lister's political reporting. She raised successfully appeal against the ban, but was still degraded during the process of management of the Observer for defamation for ordinary journalists. Your colleagues on strike because of this decision and were dismissed, Lister announced a little later and founded in 1985 The Namibian.

The Namibian was considered left, the African independence movements and the SWAPO newspaper close. The name was both provocation and program, but a state of Namibia was ( to be built of only five years later), agreed by the unlawful manager, South Africa 's right to exist. Lister was the apartheid government, such a thorn in the flesh, that in the 80 years of the South African military intelligence, an assassin ansetzte on them, which should contaminate their cosmetics with a slow-acting poison.

1988 Gwen Lister was four months pregnant, was arrested at the time for the publication of a confidential document, but released after a few days, subject to conditions. In the same year a fire and tear gas attack perpetrated on the offices of the Namibian. The "Wit Wolwe " ( Afrikaans for: White Wolves ), a radical right-wing and racist terrorist organization, known for the attack.

Since Namibia's independence

1990 Namibia became independent. Lister coined since the new role of the Namibian as an observer and critic of the government, especially now with an absolute majority ruling SWAPO party. This resulted after several verbal threats against their newspaper in 2001 to a display boycott by the government, which was expanded a year later by a prohibition to buy editions of the Namibian public funds. Both bans are still in effect today, despite its role as the largest circulation Namibian newspaper.

Private and family life

Gwen Lister lives in Windhoek and has two grown children. She plays squash Namibian Business League.

Awards and honors