TON VOSLOO, the former Naspers chairman, appears to have suddenly realised that he is ‘living in a different country’. A piece published by Tammy Petersen of News24 carries details of his sudden change of heart, in which he selectively refers to events effecting the company’s standing in relation to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.
In 2010 the company mocked the TRC Report during a hearing before the Labour Court of South Africa and proceeded to oppose a 2015 application before the Equality Court, brought to review the company’s opposition to the TRC Report and its continued hostility.
Vosloo makes no apology for acting in this way but appears keen to put other matters to rest. His employees think nothing of assisting the ‘Old Crocodile’ in his latest spin on events, in the process we uncover yet another fraud, courtesy of the Internet Archive.
Referring to a letter published on Netwerk24 and Die Burger, Petersen relates that after attending a graduation ceremony, Vosloo suddenly became ‘ashamed of his beliefs and actions’
Why did we act “so mockingly” against those who warned about the dangers of apartheid? Vosloo appears to ask.
“These musings of an elderly Afrikaans speaker are far too late. Why did we, in our fiery youth and with our prowess as seasoned journalists, act so mockingly against those who warned us about the perils of forced racial segregation?” he wrote.
“Why did we support the government of the time when it violated the Constitution by filling the Senate with staunch Nationalists to remove the so-called coloureds from the electoral roll?“
Past tense, not so fast
The piece is remarkable for in placing emphasis on the past tense, Naspers appears to narrate a new version of the historical record, one varying the company’s previous attempts at revisionism and spin-doctoring.
A previous 2015 mea culpa issued via the company, was essentially a case-limited half-apology by Media24’s Esmerie Weideman, issued two days after I filed a review application before the Equality Court citing the company’s opposition to the TRC. The apology referenced a sole individual, one Conrad Sidego, who had experienced difficulties with separate facilities at the company.
Peterson now seems to have discovered a news report purporting to be from that time claiming:
“When apartheid was abolished, the Afrikaans press declined to make a submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), News24 previously reported.
“However, more than 100 Afrikaans-speaking journalists later submitted affidavits to the TRC in their individual capacity, acknowledging the Afrikaans press had been integral in helping to keep apartheid in place and should have accepted moral responsibility for what happened.”
According to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the report was published no earlier than the period surrounding 4 October 2022, when it was first recorded by the Archive’s webcrawler, and is thus fraudulently introduced as if it were published in 2015 and contemporaneous with events from that period. The archive has three snapshots of the page stemming from this later date, when it was presumably published with the fraudulent dateline.
Lying once again
Media24 manager Ishmet Davidson had at the time lied about the TRC episode on camera — the company, keen to manage its apologia and mea culpa, essentially suppressed its own history and continues to censor any negative criticism of its operations. In 2006 the company sought a gagging order in its attempt to quash criticism.
Peterson then out of the blue, and in the light of Vosloo’s regrets, now suddenly refers to hard facts first published on Medialternatives: “JBM (Barry) Hertzog formed the Nasionale Pers (National Press) in Stellenbosch in 1915, soon after founding the National Party. The party later governed the country and enforced a system of racial segregation.”
None of the statements released by the company at the time acknowledged the independent submissions made by journalists in their private capacity. Instead Ton Vosloo is recorded by his biographer as having taken a bleak view of what he perceived to be nothing less than ‘an act of betrayal’, a view-point which continued under Koos Bekker.
Vosloo’s page on Wikipedia is a self-authored hagiography (one treating its subject with undue reverence) in which the term ‘apartheid’ along with the Krokodil’s association with the regime, is simply airbrushed out of history, aided and abetted by corruption within our justice system.
A review application brought to examine the above in the public arena, has been wrecked due to lack of attorney representation following the absurd 1994-denialist outcome of Lewis vs Legal Aid SA (LASA). A scandalous decision in which AJ Bernard Martin of the High Court in 2019 proceeded to support the assertion by John van Onselen of LASA, to the effect that ‘the TRC Report would take a long time to read and may be ignored’.
For the record, the author condemns the crude High Court decision as ‘repugnant, vulgar, indefensible and contrary to our constitutional order’, one which includes a Preamble urging ‘recognition of the injustices of the past’.