The story of Drum magazine

The Death of Mr Drum

Henry's obituary written by Can Themba in the February 1957 issue. "He made DRUM and it made him a daring investigator!" 

Henry Nxumalo was murdered on New Year's eve 1957.

Sylvester tells the story so chillingly in the opening of Who Killed Mr Drum?

No-one was brought to trial for the murder. Bailey writes in The Beat of the Drum:

"Many years later a black prisoner, gaoled for another crime ...., confessed that he had been haunted by Henry's ghost, and that his conscience hurt him because he had been the man who had knifed Henry. He said that a certain criminal by the name of Lefty had arranged it with him. He was paid for the murder, he said, one hundred and twenty pounds. This somewhat supported the other evidence that the real murderer was a white man because the going rate for a murder in the townships of that time, so my enquiries had assured me, was twenty-five pounds. Only a white man, it seemed to me, would so grossly overpay."

Henry had been investigating the activities of an illegal abortionist some of whose women had died under the surgeon's knife.