Fascinating media insightS
Across Boundaries: A Life In The Media In A Time Of Change by Ton Vosloo (R282, Jonathan Ball Publishers) Anyone interested in SA press freedom should read this book. It’s a story that has been waiting to be told, written by one of the subject’s greatest defenders.
Most accounts of this battle to tell the truth concentrate on the English press, but Ton Vosloo has filled the gap with an authentic account of the battles that went on in the Afrikaans media. It makes for juicy reading.
My favourite battle was the one between Lang Dawid De Villiers’s second wife, Rae Golding, and the secretive and powerful Afrikaner Broederbond (AB) group. It was surprising to learn that Dawid, a liberal, was a member of the AB, which did not allow its members to marry nonChristians, so he had to ask the group’s permission to marry his fiancé Rae (who was Jewish).
Surprisingly, he gained it, but when the AB met with Dawid at their home, Rae had to depart the premises after preparing their tea. Her revenge? The cookies came from Sea Point and were kosher.
It was on Ton’s watch that Nasionale Pers (now Naspers) became the biggest company on the JSE and in Africa. His meditation on whether Naspers still has a soul comes from the heart of the journalist he’ll always be. – Jane Raphaely