Bosasa Files – and a reminder from the redoubtable Penelope Gracie

On 5 January it will be 40 years since I began my career as a trainee financial journalist under the redoubtable Penelope Gracie at The Citizen newspaper. That seemed a world away from my relatively sheltered life in Newcastle and, briefly, Pietermaritzburg University. But accepting poverty wages and moving to Johannesburg in 1980 was a decision never regretted.

Over the years since that fateful call, I’ve have a front row seat in a world where truth is often stranger than fiction. A reality which repeated itself once more the deeper I looked into the apparently one-way journalistic bet called Bosasa. Also confirming that, usually, the best way to uncover the truth is to follow the money.

Way back when Penelope wielded her iron-will like a swagger stick, it was drummed into me to always look for the other side of the story, no matter how weighted the evidence appeared to be. And it was also early on that I was pointed towards a novel, The Spike, where a young journalist in search of writing the big headlines was “played” by his contacts.

It’s too early to make a definitive call on the personalities inside the publicly vilified Bosasa and the mysterious death of its founder Gavin Watson. But after reading the Bosasa Files which we published yesterday, I’ve got a feeling you’ll agree that in this complex world of ours, things are rarely as simple as they seem. And it’s best to examine both sides before reaching a conclusion.

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