Media24’s many scandals start to weigh in as 2008 brings a fresh bungle

MIH Naspers, missed the opportunity offered by South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission to come clean. Instead, it has chosen to hide behind constitutional guarantees of press freedom by ignoring calls for openness and transparency. According to the commission, the company merely submitted a short “corporate history” that diverged little from the official version, already laid out in apartheid history books.

Media24 have therefore played down the startling fact that racist supremo, D F Malan, one of the architects of apartheid, was its founding father. Instead of showing contrition, the company continues to revise history, creating a business paradise out of the former apartheid state, and turning South Africa into some corporate homeland in which profits come before people. The inevitable cost of global expanision has been the truth.

Like the fact that Harpo, the company which produced Oprah Winfrey’s award-winning, O magazine is now being fingered for its association with Media24’s and the group’s ongoing racial profiling, newsroom segregation and workplace censorship.

The O magazine continues to be printed by Media24 subsidiaries, Paarl Print, and NND24. Not surprising since, the publishers of the South African version of O, Associated Magazines, is jointly owned by Jane Raphaely and Associates along with Naspers.

Jane’s daughter Julia runs the show at Associated and denies any involvement, but in a telephonic conversation with one Mark Rosin, a spokesperson for he company, the link was acknowledged: “Yes, we have a business relationship with Media24″, he said, but not before threatening “a very expensive defamation case”.

Rosin was however, forced to admit that such a course of action would be detrimental to freedom of the press, and requested a “proposal to resolve the issue”.

South African O is actually a joint venture between (Hearst) Harpo and Associated Magazines.
Details such as these are available from the Naspers website, in particular its “history” page.
D F Malan
Below are a few scandals involving Media24 that you may already know about. Then again, if you’re getting your news from News24 or any one of the many titles associated with the brand, you might be suffering from what George Orwell called “doublespeak” in which each and every scandal is turned into a startling example of foresight and CEO diligence — real boardroom “consideration” instead of the ineptitude and negligence it is. Forget the damn lies and statistics, Media24 continues to dupe the public with lavish press conferences that cover-up the truth and public relations fiascos’ that merely spin each story into the arena of a racist media fairy tale that forgets there is still much to be told about the groups’s human rights violations.
Apartheid was a crime against humanity, not an “interesting learning experience for black folk”.

Just so that Media24 doesn’t completely pull the wool over your eyes in 2008, here is a list of Media24 many bungles including its current bungle.


After damming evidence of newsroom segregation and workplace censorship, Media24 sort to gag one of its employees. The report was not carried by any mainstream title but survived online.

Media24 has sought to muzzle one of its former employees, reports Sangonet and FXi

Cape Town Anti-War Coalition: Racism and Anti-Semitism at Media24 Newsroom

Noseweek accused Media24 of delivering fake degrees. An accusation that has yet to be adequitely answered. The online reports remain.

Media24 collages – A degree of deception reports Noseweek

Media24’s diploma circus reports Noseweek


Media24 conveniently turned this one around, so that it looked as if its accuser was the guilty one, but like most cases involving the company, its accuser won out. The case is documented on the internet.

A case heard on appeal, Media24 v Grobler documented by SAFLII shows that the Appeal Court found the company negligent for breach by employer of legal duty to maintain working environment in which employees not subject to sexual harassment


Media24 has even tried to clamp down on the common use of the numeral 24. In this saga, the company joyfully proclaimed its ownership over each and every instance of the number without thought as to the consequences. One side of the story is still available for further investigation.

Legal battle over proper use of ‘24’ reports News24


Bringing news headlines from online journos, the circulations fraud saga of 2007 made interesting reading. Pity the unanswered questions online refuse to go away

MPASA condemns Media24’s magazine circulation irregularities reports Bizcommunity

Media24 staff responsible for circulation irregularities reports Bizcommunity

Potential criminal charges in Media24 scandal reports Bizcommunity

How did it all go wrong at Media24? reports Bizcommunity

Media24 mag staff in hot water reports Bizcommunity

‘Horrified’ Media24 admits to false circulation figuresreports Mail & Guardian Online

Advertisers want Media24 refund reports Business News SA


This story at Harpo has yet to break, we are challenging online hacks to give it a go

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