South Africa: Ton Vosloo's Book Has Lessons for Today's Political Journalists Who Actively Take Sides

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The debate over whether Naspers's Ton Vosloo and his allies supported the more 'enlightened' apartheid thugs misses the point. The gravest sin of the Afrikaans media was not what it said but what it systematically hid from its public: the forced removals, the prison torture, the slave working conditions, the censorship, the petty segregation, the daily humiliations -- all the conditions that defined apartheid and made it so horrifying to the rest of the world.

There is a throwaway line that made me gasp while reading Ton Vosloo's autobiography, Across Boundaries: A life in the media in a time of change, launched in September 2018.

In 1989, Vosloo -- then managing director of what was still Nasionale Pers (and today is Naspers) was central to the National Party's internal battle for power between State President PW Botha and the new party leader FW de Klerk. In the book, he tells of a conversation with FW:

"The press statement FW wanted to make was in line with a draft statement I had read out to him earlier."

Vosloo, as head of a media company, was drafting statements for the leader of a political party. He adds, enigmatically: "FW greatly appreciated our...


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Publish date : 2018-10-08 13:56:47
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