The Open Journal is a news site that champions authentic storytelling free from the commercial pressures that often plague the news media.

Upon realising that no such platform was made available to them, six journalism students from the University of Johannesburg got together and decided to create their own news site. The Open Journal was born.

Days later they had their very first newsroom experience, writing news reports and feature articles about the International Festival at the University of Johannesburg. Since then the team has gained two extra members and they are still steering the ship with tonnes of passion and creativity.

Our site caters to all members of the society but particularly South African youth and the student population. We shine the spotlight on all the stories that are often overlooked and under-documented by the mainstream media. The Open Journal takes every story seriously because we believe that everyone has a story to tell.

The Open Journal offers more than just the usual 5Ws and an H, providing content that is exclusively rich with information and character. When telling stories, our reporters strive for objectivity, accuracy, insightfulness and creativity.

We write news on a variety of topics that include politics, business, entertainment and sports. Occasionally our journalists write opinion pieces on topical issues and commit themselves to ensuring that these articles are well researched and not inflammatory.  We also give ordinary people a platform to have their voice heard through the Public Opinion section of our news site.


Click the follow buttons that appear on our site and engage with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We upload some of our content on our YouTube channel – The Open Journal TV. Subscribe to our channel to watch all of our interviews and news clips.


Please email us any queries, suggestions and story ideas you want us to follow up on. We allow our readers to publish their work on our site, so if you have a story you want us to publish email it to us and we’ll take a look at it. Please note that any and all work sent to us has to meet journalistic standards.

Email address: theojnews@gmail.com


Magnificent Mndebele (@DeMagnificentSA)

Managing Editor and  Investigative Journalist


Magnificent Mndebele is the news editor for the Open Journal and specialises in investigative journalism. He is a freelance journalist and works in various media publications,  reporting news in politics and social issues. Magnificent is also a photographer and feels that the camera lens brings him feelings of peace and serenity. He is reluctant to reveal much about himself for peril factors, but it should be noted that he has a heart full of love.

Gabriel Ndongo (@Gabriel_NGD)

Assistant Editor, Sub-Editor, Political Journalist


Gaby Ndongo Nkolo is a liberal Congolese nationalist who is currently studying Journalism at the University of Johannesburg. He works as a journalist for both the Open Journal and The Journalist.

His interests are diverse ranging from skateboarding, boxing, the culinary arts, cycling and most importantly journalism which brought with it, interests in reading and writing. In particular Gaby enjoys activities that require speed or concentration; however, music beguiles his soul and rejuvenates his mind.

This individual’s aspiration is to always be his true self and love who he is as a person; additionally, he aims to appreciate people for who they are as individuals.

News Editor, Sub-Editor


“Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”, this quote encapsulates the reason why Lauren Pillay writes the stories that she does. When realising the atrocities of the world we live in, she feels like she’s compelled to share the truth with the world. Her heart overflows compassion toward individuals who may struggle to live through the night. It is that very emotion that deserves to be shared with a society that has been desensitised toward violence and pain.

She is a journalist and a news editor for the Open Journal.  She reflects, “my desire to explore the journalistic field stems from the core belief that I may have the slight possibility of making a difference. Whether it be sharing a story that educates people about an event or helping those very same people physically acquire what they need to survive while writing a story.”

Lauren is primarily a creative who not only writes but sings. Everything that she attempts to convey an emotion and create some form of art that can communicate a message. “I communicate my experiences through writing and I believe that writing at this online publication gives me the opportunity to share with and learn from those around me, especially our readers.”

Xiletelo Mabasa (@SHEleteloMabasa)

Sub-Editor, Social Media Manager, General News Reporter 


Xiletelo Mabasa is a journalism student at the University of Johannesburg. She describes herself as “great ball of happiness” and her greatest shortfall is her love for all things ranging from politics to fashion. Xiletelo grew up in Malamulele, Limpopo and completed all 12 years of schooling at Khanyisa Education Centre in Giyani. She works as a journalist at the Open Journal and as a contributor for The Journalist.

After finishing her degree Xiletelo is set on getting her Honours degree. She hopes to venture into both broadcast and print media and is excited to see which will come first. She is currently working on making her mark in the blogosphere.

Onthatile Kgoadigoadi (@tux_nthati96)

Investigative Journalist

 onthatile-kgoadigoadiOnthatile Kgoadigoadi was born and bred in Phokeng, North West Province. She is a Journalism student at the University of Johannesburg. She is currently working towards obtaining her degree in Journalism and hopes to obtain an Honours degree.

Her eagerness to pursue journalism was triggered during her high school years when she would volunteer for community service. She saw a need to impact people’s lives and make their voices heard. Her passion lies in being a humanitarian and eradicating the challenges and issues faced in society.

She is a young vibrant journalist with an interest in digging for the truth. She longs to empower the youth from her village to never lose the hope of achieving their dreams and believes that winners are losers who got up and gave it one more try.

Bongani Mavundla (@IamPrasello)

General News Reporter

IMG-20170410-WA0004[1]Bongani Mavundla is a journalism student at the University of Johannesburg and is interested in the politics of the country. He runs a politically charged news blog called Talking Politics 101. Mavundla considers himself as more of a political analyst than a political journalist.

Palesa Mlambo (@PaleyWaley)

Entertainment Journalist


Palesa Mlambo is a young ambitious woman and writer for the Open Journal.  She also volunteers as a news anchor at her community radio station and writes for The Journalist. Palesa was born and bred in Kagiso, Krugersdorp. She’s from a family of five and has always had a passion for reading books, inspirational and educational, amongst other things she values good human principles.

Palesa loves to go running, she reflects, “I find races very liberating and fun! I love adventure, being outdoors in new places is heavenly.” She aspires to love as many people as possible. She also wants to fulfil her God-given purpose and explore all the areas available in the media industry and then finally settle for whichever one agrees with her spirit.

Nadine Robinson 

Entertainment Journalist 


Nadine Robinson is a second-year Journalism student and aspiring entertainment radio journalist with a love for writing. Her down to earth yet zany personality sets her apart from the average joe.
Her decision to study Journalism came in 2009 at a career expo she attended while she was in high school.  She believes in perfecting her craft with commitment and dedication. She is also a dance coach at a local NGO as well as a full-time mom.
Nadine acquired a diploma in Public Relations and Communications in 2016 and is looking forward to completing her Journalism degree. Her personal motto in life is: “be passionate about people and you will have a purpose”