Dr Iqbal Survé: BizNews and Alec Hogg purveyors of fake news

Published 09 June, by Independent Media

What Bell Pottinger is to the Guptas, Alec Hogg is to the agents of regime change in South Africa.

Hogg’s news website, BizNews, represents gutter journalism and he is a purveyor of fake news that is inaccurate, out of context and devoid of any real facts in his obsession to defame Dr Iqbal Survé, Executive Chairman of Independent Media and Sekunjalo Investment Group.

Hogg made it his life’s mission to discredit black business in South Africa, while turning a blind eye to the major indiscretions of his masters, which include Naspers.

The recent BizNews article, which is prefaced by an attention-grabbing headline and a misleading introduction by UK-based Jackie Cameron, suggests amongst others, that Survé used his influence and relationship with the ANC to gain government advertising support for Independent Media, which is apparently evidenced by Survé’s presence in several photographs with President Jacob Zuma.

Let’s separate fact from Hogg’s fiction.

Fact: Independent Media, along with other major print publishing companies in South Africa, has experienced an annual decline in government advertising. The decline was in line with government’s strategy to reduce advertising spend in print. SABC radio and television, on the other hand, showed a marked increase in government advertising spend.

Fact: As a South African business leader, Survé represents the country on various international platforms. He is the first chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Growth Companies (GGC) Advisory Board and Vice-chairman of the Global Agenda Council (GAC) for Emerging Multinationals. He is a participant member of the G20 meeting and serves on B20 Task Teams as well as the UNGA private sector forum. On the invitation of SA Presidents Nelson Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, Kgalema Motlanthe and Jacob Zuma, he has participated on many presidential advisory working groups and state visits. He was recently appointed Chair of the South African chapter of the BRICS Business Council. These are all high-profile, professional leadership positions similar to those enjoyed by other CEOs and chairmen of major corporations in South Africa which attract extensive publicity and often share a public platform with President Zuma. To suggest that Survé’s presence on platforms with President Zuma is an attempt to secure government’s favour, is scurrilous and a blatant untruth.

The article also suggests that Survé has a seemingly strained relationship with the Guptas while simultaneously enjoying a good relationship with them when he was seen to have attended the Gupta wedding in Sun City.

Fact: Survé attended the Gupta wedding, along with several other CEOs and captains of industry, including other media bosses such as Esmaré Weideman of Media24. So determined is Hogg to cast aspersions on Survé and to claim a close association between Survé and the Gupta family, that he blatantly does not refer to the presence of these CEOs at the wedding. It is fair to say that attending a wedding does not mean that you agree with the policies and business approach of the host.

Fact: The Guptas are in dispute with Dr Survé and Independent Media. This is a matter of public record. They have differences in their approach to business and these differences have resulted in the Guptas making public statements against Dr Survé and Independent Media. Far from the Guptas having any relationship with Dr Survé, the status quo is indeed one which has seen them in direct opposition to each other. Any attempt to suggest that there is a relationship between Survé and the Guptas, is inaccurate and tantamount to fake news.

Over the past three years, and since the acquisition of Independent Media by a Sekunjalo-led consortium, BizNews has consistently published articles about the company and several other successful black professionals and companies, while deliberately attempting to defame and discredit them. He has used lies, innuendo and defamation to fuel his onslaught against Independent Media, Dr Survé as well as the Sekunjalo Investment Group.

Hogg has relocated his business to the UK where it appears he is supporting an agenda focused on discrediting South Africa, the black business community and the ANC, while also undermining the sovereignty of the country and in particular, promoting regime change.

Whose interests is he serving? Is it not time for Hogg to reveal the real reason for relocating to the UK and to disclose who his backers are?

Please read the full article here.

 

How Apartheid system colluded with ‘journalists, spies and bankers’

Published 08 June 2017, by Mphathi Nxumalo.

DURBAN – Apartheid’s legacy is still affecting South Africa and the local media, a discussion held on the sidelines of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-Ifra) conference being held in Durban heard on Wednesday. The conference brings together journalists and media professionals from around the globe.

The discussion, hosted by the Press Club of South Africa focused around author Hennie van Vuuren’s book “Apartheid Guns and Money”, an exposé on the economic crimes of the apartheid regime.

Through the use of released secret documents, Van Vuuren details how the then government defended the system through the use of people like journalists, spies and bankers.

Van Vuuren and a small group of people worked on the book for five years. “It is a story about power,” he said.

Van Vuuren said a large amount of information on apartheid was available, even though the apartheid government had destroyed about 44 tons worth of documents. He said he was frustrated that South Africans were not telling more of these types of stories, including that media group Naspers had donated money to the National Party and was the “attack dog” of the National Party.

Dr Iqbal Surve, executive chairman of Sekunjalo, the owner of Independent Newspapers, said the book was well- researched and told the truth. “It is one of the seminal books in South African history.”

Surve said the dominant media groups in the country were completely embedded in the apartheid regime. The challenge lay in trying, to tell the truth while being faced by institutions that come from the apartheid era.

Surve said it should be noted that the apartheid regime stole R500 billion from South Africa, money that could have been used for the development of the country.

Investigative journalist Piet Rampedi said journalists were still contending with a culture of institutionalised racism in the newsroom.

“In the newsroom, you can see that black journalists are being discriminated against.The media has racialised crime and corruption… They presume black people are prone to corruption,” he said.

Rampedi said the media should acknowledge its apartheid past, as this would help the industry to improve.

Van Vuuren said the book was also a story about the private funding of political parties and how there is no law regulating this until today.

#WNC17: ‘The consumption of sports news has evolved’

Published 8 June, by Lee Rondganger

Durban – Building partnerships with major sporting brands and engaging communities using emerging and existing technologies were the key to influencing the future on how people consume sports news.

This was the major theme that emerged during a roundtable discussion on Sports News and Media Innovation at the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) conference held in Durban on Wednesday.

The roundtable panel included Nicolas Henchoz, the director of EPFL+ECAL Lab in Switzerland, Jermaine Craig, group executive for sport and motoring at Independent Media, Rolf Dyrnes Svendsen, chairman of the advisory board of the Global Allied Media Innovation, Cormac Bourke, editor of the Sunday Independent in Ireland and Professor Andrew Perkis of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

In a world where newspaper circulation was dropping and readers were increasingly going to social media for news, Henchoz said there were opportunities for traditional media to partner with sporting organisations such as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to innovate and keep audiences whilst still generating revenue.

 For an example he said that YouTube’s income was ten times that of the IOC.

“This is really a huge challenge for international sporting organisations. Google and YouTube are just doing their job. Sporting organisations must work with the media together to influence the future… It is about us working together to innovate,” he said.

Read the full article here.

Transformation in media locally, globally ‘ too slow’

Published 7 June 2017, by Mphathi Nxumalo

THERE has been progress in women empowerment in the media but it is not enough. So said Tomas Brunegård, president of World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). The organisation represents more than 18 000 publications around the world.

Brunegård said it was not good enough globally either. “These gender-related issues are there and they need to be addressed.” He said this at WAN-IFRA dinner that was held last night in Durban.

This comes as a conference that brings journalists and media professionals from around the world kicks off today (WED) and will run until Friday, June 9. During the conference media professionals will discuss challenges, facing the media landscape. It will also look at solutions that could be used to solve the problems the industry faces.

One of the people who is finding solutions to problems being faced in the industry is a philanthropist and Sekunjalo Executive Chairman Dr Iqbal Survé.

He said Independent Media had provided solutions with its #RACISMSTOPSWITHME campaign. But there were still challenges that lay ahead though. One of these challenges was to tell an African narrative in a media landscape that is dominated by companies that are relics from the apartheid era like Nasionale Pers (Naspers).

The media in the country also needed to be transformed. “Media transformation in South Africa is very slow except in the case of Independent Media,” Survé said.

He said he believed Independent Media was a lone star with its rapid pace of transformation. Ownership in other media houses was relatively the same as it was during apartheid with senior management, editorial patterns and narrative not reflecting the story of a new country, embracing its aspirations and diversity. It only reflects the media people who existed in the apartheid era.

“We shouldn’t be surprised because firstly the majority of our competitors were rooted during apartheid. It is a fact that Naspers was founded by the National Party and the Broederbond. Times Media Group had their editor working for the security police. The Caxton Group was funded by the apartheid government,” Survé said. These companies remained prominent until today without a change of ownership and mindset of the past. He said there were many journalists and editors who tried to make a difference but they were regrettably few and far between.

Read the full article here.

Africa’s Warmest Welcome

Published 14 June 2017, by Bheki Mbanjwa.

South Africa has fared very poorly in terms of transfor­mation of the media and the government needs to investigate the role played by media monopolies in blocking the role of new entrants in the sector, the executive chairman of Independent Media, Dr Iqbal Survé, has said.

Speaking ahead of the Wan-Ifra board of directors’ dinner hosted by Sekunjalo last night, Survé said, except in the case of Independent Media, “regrettably the (media) ownership pattern remains largely as it was under apartheid”.

“There should be far more black people in media, far more diversity of journalists and editors, there should be more focus on the narrative that is not negative about black people.

“It’s a long journey but I think the government needs to investigate the monopolies that exist in the media sector and the impact that these monopolies have in preventing black entrepreneurs from coming into the media sector,” he said.

The dinner was held ahead of the start of the 69th World News Media Congress and the 24th World Editors’ Forum, being held at the Durban ICC from today until Friday. More than 700 delegates, including publishers and editors from around the world, are expected to attend.

 The event is being hosted by Wan-Ifra, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers.

President of Wan-Ifra, Tomas Brunegård, who also spoke to The Mercury before the dinner, said the main aim of the congress was to promote press freedom and to provide a platform for media professionals, to be part of a network through which they can share best practices. One of the issues that would be discussed was that of women in the media.

Brunegård said while there had been progress in terms of women in the media, there was much that still needed to be done. “It is not good enough globally. These gender-related issues are there and they need to be addressed,” he said.

Read the full article here.

#DontLookAway … not just for 16 days

Published 01 June, by IOL.

Don’t Look Away! When IOL reports story after story about women and children being murdered or raped, we ask you to please Don’t Look Away.

Please acknowledge the life that has been cut short so abruptly or altered so brutally.

Please help women and children who experience violence to seek help.

Last December, Independent Media launched the Don’t Look Away campaign to run parallel to the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign. Our campaign recently took second place at the International News Media Association Global Media Awards in New York for best use of video.

 Please read the full article here.

Honour for adults who fight for children’s rights

Published 29 May, by Nicola Daniels, IOL

The World’s Children’s Prize Foundation (WCPF) and The Survé Family Foundation brought the Swedish award ceremony honouring adults who fight for the rights of children to South Africa.

In an evening of music, dance and poetry at the Artscape Theatre, the Abatsha Children’s Band, who were trained through the South African WCPF programme, delivered a moving performance last night.

The band had performed at the award ceremony in Sweden in April and last night was an opportunity for them to share their talent with their families and honoured guests.

Since its launch in the year 2000, WCPF has worked with more than 40 million children across the world, educating them about their rights. More than five million South African children have also been learning through their programme.

This year’s award winners voted for by the children, included Molly Melching for the work she does in Senegal to stop female genital cutting, and Rosi Gollmann, who works to stop child labour and prevent girls from becoming sex slaves in India and Bangladesh.

The overall prize went to Manuel Rodriguez, who runs a school for disabled children in Guinea Bissau.

Mayor Patricia de Lille, who was an honorary guest for the evening, said: “What a heart-warming display of talent. The Bill of Rights, Section 28, says every child has the right to be cared for and protected. All children must be loved.”

Read the full article here.

LOOK: Independent photographer shortlisted for global award

Published 25 May, by a staff writer, IOL. 
A top Independent Media photographer is a finalist in an international prize for young photojournalists organised by Russian news agency Rossiya Segodnya.Phando Jikelo, 31, who worked for the Cape Times when he took the picture up for the award, which was used on page

one, has been shortlisted for the Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest, selected by a jury and includes photographers from 14 countries. The winners will be announced on August 7 in Moscow.

He has since been transferred to Independent’s African News Agency.

Executive chairman of Independent Media Dr Iqbal Survé said: “Phando’s ability as a young photographer goes without saying.

“He has captured moments that convey stories and his heart-wrenching pictures have brought change to the lives of many people. To be shortlisted in one of the most prestigious international photographic competitions for young photojournalists is a testament to his skill and bravery for always getting the shot. I am immensely proud of Phando for being the first South African photojournalist to be shortlisted in this contest.”

As previously, the winning photos will be displayed not only in Russia but abroad until the end of the year.

This year, the number of countries taking part has increased, securing the contest’s status as a prestigious international platform that discovers new names in world photography.

Read the full article here.

 

Musical joyride for Edujazz Concert

Published 24 May, by a staff reporter, IOL. 

Over the past seventeen years, the Sekunjalo Development Foundation has hosted the annual Sekunjalo Edujazz Concert, where young music students share the stage with established artists. This year, the concert will take place on Saturday 1 July at the Artscape Theatre.

The exciting line-up for the 17th rendition of this annual favourite, includes the Sekunjalo Edujazz Big Band, The Foster Kids and The Dynamic Voices featuring The Voice SA finalist Robin Pieters, Idols contestant Elwira Standili, internationally acclaimed crooner Jarrad Ricketts, and singer, songwriter and music producer Lana Crowster, who also appeared on The Voice SA and won the inaugural espYoungLegends competition in 2016.

They will be accompanied by legendary bass guitarist Sammy Webber who will bring his special blend of bass slaps, funk flair and authenticity to this star-studded event.

In 2001, music teacher Donovan Witten had the vision to bring jazz music back into Cape Flats schools after the education department made the decision that art and music no longer had a place in our children’s education.

He shared his vision with Dr Iqbal Survé who was instantly on board and soon saw the establishment of the Sekunjalo Edujazz Project.

 The core of Sekunjalo Edujazz is to fund bursaries at disadvantaged schools while promoting music development. Since its launch, the project has sparked a great following – not only from members of the public who enjoy witnessing South Africa’s musical future but from the artists themselves who recognise the importance of sharing their knowledge and expertise with aspiring entertainers.

The Edujazz Big Band for 2017 will be under the direction of Andrew Ford. Andrew has achieved international acclaim and received awards for music and post production from Cannes Lions, London International Advertising Awards, the New York Festivals and of course our own, South African Loerie Awards. As an arranger, he is constantly in demand by Big Bands and has conducted various orchestras including The Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. Under his direction, the Edujazz Big Band performed at the recent Cape Town International Jazz Festival and will now be showcasing their flair with audiences in July.

Read the full article here.

Independent Media scoops 4 awards at INMA

Published 24 May, by IOL. 

Independent Media scooped four prizes at the prestigious International News Media Association (INMA) Global Media Awards in New York on Wednesday.

Independent Media scooped first prize in the category: Best Community Service Campaign for the Racism Stops With Me Campaign and was placed second in the Best New Print Product and Best Use of Video for the Independent Home magazine and the ‘Don’t Look Away’ video series for 16 Days of Activism. They also walked away with the Global Media Award for Best in Africa.

The awards were held at the prestigious Harvard Club and attended by leading media executives from around the globe.

Read more here.