Max du Preez will be leading the charge with two co-editors, Anneliese Burgess and Jacques Pauw. Picture: SUPPLIED
Max du Preez will be leading the charge with two co-editors, Anneliese Burgess and Jacques Pauw. Picture: SUPPLIED

Tiso Blackstar Group has confirmed the return of Vrye Weekblad — the historic, anti-apartheid Afrikaans newspaper that shut down 25 years ago after revealing the Vlakplaas death squads.

Founding editor Max du Preez is again taking over the helm and is joined by some of the same team members that investigated the apartheid-era government a quarter of a century ago. Former Gen Lothar Neethling sued the newspaper after it revealed that he supplied toxins to police be used on anti-apartheid activists. The protracted court proceedings led to the publication shutting shop in 1994.

Now, Vrye Weekblad will be published weekly in a digital format by Tiso Blackstar. The site is already live (vryeweekblad.com) and people can register to get updates in the lead-up to the launch.

“It will be unapologetically progressive‚ cheeky and disrespectful to those who believe they are important. But most of all it will offer news‚ analysis and opinion of the highest international standard‚” reads a statement on the launch.

Du Preez says that while it will be published in Afrikaans‚ it is not only for the Afrikaans community. “It will speak to all those who want to be challenged by unique insights into the SA story.”

Joining Du Preez as co-editors is author of The President's Keepers Jacques Pauw and Anneliese Burgess‚ author of Heist!

The first six editions of Vrye Weekblad will be free with the first edition set to debut in April.

“This investment is in line with our continued commitment to quality journalism‚ which we regard as key to our future. We are proud to be associated with the journalistic talent that comes with the Vrye Weekblad brand‚” said Tiso Blackstar media MD‚ Andrew Gill.

Tiso Blackstar is the publisher of Business Day, Financial Mail, TimesLIVE, Sunday Times and the Sowetan.