In January 2004, John was appointed the UK Country Manager of the International Marketing Council of South Africa (IMC), a public-private partnership mandated to position South Africa as one of the highly considered, non-traditional markets in terms of world trade, investment and tourism by 2010.
Battersby is a South African with a distinguished career in South African and international journalism, which included ten years with leading American newspapers including the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor and five years as editor of The Sunday Independent in Johannesburg (1996-2001).
As a leading South African journalist, columnist, editor and political commentator, Battersby played a key role in reporting and interpreting South Africa's momentous negotiated settlement between 1990 and 1994 and gained a reputation for interpreting and analysing the complexities of transition and projecting a need for reconciliation and reparation. Battersby developed working relationships and friendships with the country's leadership and his numerous interviews with the country's first President, Nelson Mandela, are well documented.
Battersby served as a judge on the CNN Africa Journalist of the Year awards (2000-04) and served as chairman of the Foreign Correspondents Association in South Africa (1990-1992) and hosted the first FCA annual dinner with Nelson Mandela as guest-of-honour. Battersby has been the recipient of the Geoffrey Godsell Award and was nominated by the Monitor for the Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of South Africa.