Two years after shareholder activist Theo Botha first highlighted how outdated Naspers’s AGMs were, the media and internet group finally made it into the 21st century. During a slick, three-hour production, the 2018 AGM gave shareholders ample opportunity to engage with board members and top executives and ask questions. It was an affair worthy of a company that dominates the market cap of the JSE with valuable investments in cutting-edge, hi-tech businesses. A final and welcome flourish, given the tense session that had just ended, was the rather dramatic and unexpected appearance of scores of Delivery Heroes with individual lunch bags for the few hundred investors who had attended. It was all a far cry from the grey, mid-20th-century style that prevailed until Botha rudely interrupted the format in 2016, looking for answers to governance-related questions. At that meeting, chair Koos Bekker threatened to evict Botha, and former director Boetie van Zyl staged a walkout, inviting sh...

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