Africa’s Biggest Media Group, Naspers, has Finally Apologised for its Role during Apartheid

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Media24 CEO Esmare Weideman has apologised for Naspers’s role in apartheid. “We acknowledge complicity in a morally indefensible political regime and the hurtful way in which this played out in our newsrooms and boardrooms,” she said at the 100 year celebration of Naspers and Die Burger newspaper in Cape Town on Saturday night.

The apology, was angled on how the company has evolved throughout the years: from being a mouthpiece of Apartheid-rule in South Africa to a global media giant. However, when given the chance to come clean during South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1996, Naspers refused to give a public account of just how deep its collaboration ran with the Apartheid government.

MMA analysed over 1,800 newspaper articles from 1976 and 1987, in a study on the role of the print media during Apartheid. Read the report: The role of the print media during the apartheid era.

The study found that besides the role played by many Naspers-owned publications as propaganda tools used to cover up human rights violations by the state–news reporting filled with racial prejudice was a common feature on the print pages, unfairly used to caricature black South Africans as inferior and violent.

While long overdue, this apology is a step in the right direction.

Read the article on Quartz Africa.

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