Twenty years ago, while editing this magazine, Peter Bruce exercised his editorial independence and endorsed a political party for the 1999 general elections. That was the new UDM party led by Bantu Holomisa, who had recently been expelled from the ANC. The owners of the company that published the Financial Mail at the time came down on Bruce like a ton of bricks. Or a whole Khulubuse Zuma. Hell hath no fury like a newspaper owner scorned. In Bruce’s telling of it, the strong rebuke was delivered by one Cyril Ramaphosa, who was chair of Johnnic Communications. He also was a member of the ANC NEC. So there was no conflict of interest in his rebuke of the journalist! Oh no … Until three years earlier Ramaphosa had been the leader of the parliamentary committee that drafted the constitution, one of whose highlights is the right to freedom of expression. Perhaps being a journalist under his employ curtailed that right? The wrath of the owners restrained Bruce for 20 years from endorsing...

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