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The F Word

  • Ginn Fourie & Letlapa Mphahlele
    Drawing together voices from South Africa, Romania, Ukraine, Israel, Palestine, Northern Ireland and England, “The F Word – Images of Forgiveness” explores and celebrates the stories of people who have survived tragedy, lived through atrocity and who have found it in themselves to forgive. The visionary behind this is Marina Cantacuzino, a British journalist who founded The Forgiveness Project as a brave new initiative in the fields of conflict resolution and victim support. The project saw her set out on a quest to find people who had emerged from an atrocity without hatred and bitterness.

« Marketing in a multiplatform world | Main | Values and the price of capitalism »

23 June 2008


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Mandy de Waal

@vapour: Good point Vaps.


So if you sign a "secret non disclosure agreement" with a "South African company" who clearly sponsors a violent and illegitimate government and then tell the world that you didn't really know who the print job was for, and the world responded by saying you are a liar, a person without scruples, I would say that the world was right, wouldn't you? Perhaps such a person, an officer who misrepresents the corporate governance of a company should at the very least be put out to pasture or have the courage of his convictions and resign with immediate effect.
"What a wicked web we weave..."

Mandy de Waal

@TM: Thanks for your comments and sorry about the feed issue. Was using FeedBurner and having hassles, hopefully have sorted that out. Let me know if you have further problems. // @Mike: It did slide under the radar first time round, but following the MoneyWeb story reach radio (702, SAfm, CapeTalk etc). It would have been a great story for Carte Blanche but that's owned by M-Net/Naspers. // @Stefano : When does it become an issue? What's the magic number to you? Dolce makes a smart point - your logic is fraught because it's not the numbers that count, but the concepts. That's what has caused the big media interest and public outrage, and the subsequent embarrassment to Naspers. // @Dolce: Agree with you completely, it's not the numbers that count. // @Jacoba: The first number that was reported by the media was R3m. This ran in the media for quite a few days before Naspers decided to be transparent about the issue. It was only after I posted this that Naspers decided to speak and open the matter up to public scrutiny. The revenue was R2.6m and the alleged profits R300m. They only decided to make the donation after intense public outrage, and a protest by their own staff and journalists. Lastly have you ever heard of Edmund Burke? Very clever man. He said: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." // @Wessel van Rensburg (aka Mhambi): Thank you for your comment. // @Nat Lanmaa: Yes. Isn't that amazing. But I encountered a number of anomalies when covering this story.

Nat Lanmaa

An interesting tidbit with regards to the printers apparently not knowing what they were printing is that a while ago Paarlweb refused to print a Koos Kombuis novel because of its 'blasphemous' content.

Read it as Kombuis's blog (incidently, at 24.com):

Wessel van Rensburg (aka Mhambi)

Good on you for posting this.


I don't care if it's R3 or R3mil. Either way, it's supporting the one-sided propaganda of an inept and corrupt regime. Mandy, I'm just glad someone's paying attention and taking these guys to task. Alec's open Letter to Zuma on MoneyWeb today highlighted just how inured we've become to corruption and deceit. If we're not careful, we'll go the way of Zim, and then we'll probably be pleading for people to take notice too.


My God!
Firstly you have got the amounts wrong - they did not even make a fraction of that.
Secondly, they were NOT aware of it and the minute they did, they arranged to donate every last cent to the people in Zim that needed it.
Thirdly, I am really sickened by the haste to jump to the throat of the one company in SA that actually DOES something for the country - are you all suffering from the xenophobic virus?


God, you guys are like little girls going on about a measly R3mil.

I understand your issues around 'supporting' the Mugabe regime, but have you ever looked at the positives of Naspers... Obviously not.

SaulK - yea, you go on and boycott Naspers products, just be sure to cancel 85% of your media subscriptions.

No seriously, this is a blown up story.


I am just very interested in why this has not really made this into the papers/television. This might be my conspiracy side of me thinking but these articles have mainly been focused in the business online news publications and not the traditional main stream news.


Hi Mandy - great that someone is covering these stories - well done. Am glad I no longer work for Naspers! Btw, tried to subscribe to the feed for your blog, but it says there's a "code error"?

Mandy de Waal

@Rouvanne: Naspers' Paarl Media claim they categorically did not know it was a ZanuPF job. However it was a multi-million rand job. Are you able to run that scale print job without knowing what it is? Paarl Media claim that that's exactly what happened. Have written a story with interviews for MoneyWeb. it will hopefully be up later today.

@Fred Roed: Dodgy corporate governance is a global problem, just ask Dick Cheyney and those fine folk at Haliburton.

@southafrica.to: Thanks. I have done a fairly lengthy story which I hope will be up at MoneyWeb later today.

@SaulK: I don't believe that the Naspers leadership were aware that one of their subsidiaries was doing work for ZanuPF. They will after the MoneyWeb story goes up. Then it will be interesting to see how they respond, given that they've banked the millions they've earned from the job.

@Talita: Naspers is announcing their financial results Wednesday at 09h00, so perhaps the thing to do is to start a debate about where there money is coming from on your local talk radio station.


If there were a petition or a march I'd be there - blood money like blood diamonds aught to be illegal and judging by how shocked I am -it just shows how naive I am as well. Big up to Mister Van Zyl Slabbert, we really need more men and women of his ilk, if I ever need printing that Vince's dad can't handle I'll definitely be knocking on his door.

Thanx for letting us know about this and if anyone wants to know what to boycot, have a look at Naspers' products at http://www.naspers.co.za/index.cfm?content=2693&intParentContentID=2636


Mandy, thank you for putting this up. People need to be informed about this!
It's typical disgusting behaviour from Naspers, the company has zero morals and values.
Keep up the good work!


Great investigative journalism - please let us know Naspers's response.

Fred Roed

Hectic. One thing i've noticed, after spending a weekend on the couch reading newspapers, is that the problem of dodgy corporate governance is not exclusive to Zim, or even SA for that matter. Corporate and political leaders across the board, in the States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, South America, etc. are displaying the same kind of 'end justifies the means' behaviour.

I think the problem will lie if blogs such as this one are not allowed to expose and then talk openly about these things.

Nice work, keep it up.


Hey Mandy - ja. Sies. Sies sies sies. We all bitch and complain and thank our ancestors that we dont come from Zim; we bitch and point fingers at Mbeki that he does too little; just as long as the money flows this way though - then its just business unusual... Corporate South Africa should definitely boycott Zim government work. I don't think I could sleep at night knowing I was helping Mugabe in any way!

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