Read Vrye Weekblad online every Friday from April 5.
Read Vrye Weekblad online every Friday from April 5.
Image: 123RF/Felix Pergande/TimesLIVE

Zimbabwe. Bell Pottinger. Rwanda. Jan van Riebeeck’s white gangsters, and Pik Botha’s spin-doctoring. Zuma is loving his pool while Cyril tries not to drown. The paedophiles of PE. Irma Stern and #metoo. That’s just a taste of the content of the first new edition in 25 years of Vrye Weekblad, which will be published online this Friday, April 5.

Expect exposés, news, analysis and more in the digital Vrye Weekblad every Friday, says founding editor Max du Preez – along with a mix of fresh and experienced voices.

This week’s crop of authors includes Jeremy Vearey, Virginia Keppler, Deon Gouws, Jacques Pauw, Annelize Visser, Anastasia de Vries, Hassan Essop and Chris Vick, as well as Du Preez himself.

Max du Preez. Picture: SUPPLIED
Max du Preez. Picture: SUPPLIED

A quarter of a century ago, Du Preez and his team were holding the apartheid government to account. Now Vrye Weekblad plans to publish equally fearless journalism adapted for today’s sociopolitical environment in SA.

“We are proud of the role we played [before 1994]. No fear or favour. We definitely did not want what’s happened in SA in the past decade or so: state capture, corruption, maladministration, the misuse of power, greed, cheap populism, a lack of tolerance and racial politics,” says Du Preez.

“Our mission today is fundamentally the same as in 1988: find the facts; show no mercy for those in positions of power; cut through the noise and find the truth. Our challenge is to help create informed public opinion and serve our democracy in that way.”

Although Vrye Weekblad will be published in Afrikaans, it is not aimed only at Afrikaners. 

It is by no means an “Afrikaner publication”, says Du Preez. “It is an online South African newspaper in Afrikaans, for all those who speak Afrikaans or understand the language.”

Vrye Weekblad is published in cooperation with Tiso Blackstar Group, the publisher of the Sunday Times, TimesLIVE, Business Day, Sowetan and other titles.