News from Business Day is that Naspers' Paarl Web took on a R3m print job that was turned down by Caxton. Apparently Caxton declined the job when their Chairman, Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert, threatened to walk. This after the Zimbabwe Central Bank deposited R3m into their account.
Zanu PF's blood money was no problem for Naspers subsidiary Paarl Web allegedly. Their Gauteng office is said by Business Day to have run the job. The print job in question is a slew of propaganda pamphlets which seek to convince voters about the benefits of voting Zanu PF.
Meanwhile Contraflows a blog that covers issues of interest to journalists and journalism in South Africa, alleges that Naspers journalists are lobbying Ton Vosloo about the issue, in order to seek redress.
To get an official response, I phoned Naspers' head of investor relations, Melony Meloy, who was unaware of the story. She has indicated that she will respond to me later but that "all her management are currently on a plane." A phone call to Paarl Web yielded no results. Jandré de Milander, MD of Paarl Web Gauteng was indisposed, but his PA promised that she would get him to call back within a few minutes. It is an hour later and I have yet to hear from him. I did get through to Press Manager Kevin Wright who issued a terse "no comment" and put the phone down on me.
Recent weeks have seen renewed and unprecedented violence in Zimbabwe, the assassination of key MDC opposition, the brutal murder of family members of MDC party members, the death and violent intimidation of MDC supporters. This in a country that has been driven to extreme poverty and destruction by Mugabe and Zanu PF rule.
Naspers, tell me, what kind of price tag do you put on doing good business, being ethical and protecting your reputation?
Is R3 million seriously worth the reputation damage this will bring your company?
And now that the story's out, what are you going to do about it?