Independent Media responds to Biznews’ attempted hatchet job

Published 28 July 2017, by Staff Reporter

Independent Media has responded to an online article which attacks its executive chairman, Dr Iqbal Survé.

In a statement, the media house said that the author of the article in Biznews, Ed Herbst, continued to try and discredit Survé. “This blatant propaganda is fake news at its best which cannot be taken seriously by any reasonable person,” the statement read.

Herbst’s article refers to the fact that Survé is not mentioned as a doctor who treated Nelson Mandela in Dr Vejay Ramlakan’s controversial book, “Mandela’s Last Years”, despite Survé having served as a doctor to Mandela and other Robben Island prisoners.

The article also revives previous attacks by other detractors on Survé and his ownership of Independent Media.

“Once again BizNews is running a piece, with flagrant disregard for the facts,” the statement read. It condemned the “obsession with Dr Survé and his business interests” and asked why anyone would keep searching for evidence of his relationship with Mandela – the focus of the article – and then try to connect it with an event being arranged by the Daily Maverick (DM).

Herbst’s article says it would be interesting to see if Survé “shows up” at the media event in Cape Town on August 3. However, Survé had earlier declined the invitation due to other commitments and is not participating.

The DM website has been updated and does not list him as a speaker.

 

Global firm eyes $2bn bid for ANA

Published 25 July 2017, by Business Report
ANA, Africa’s first advanced multimedia and news syndicated service and social media platform, has received a $2bn (R25bn) bid from a technology fund, according to market sources.ANA has representation in more than 40 African countries, London, New York, Mumbai, Shanghai and Moscow; with a global audience of more than 1.3 billion consumers.

“A technology fund has put in an offer for ANA’s business, which exceeds a call option of $2bn; ANA has 60 days to exercise the option”, the source told BR late yesterday.

Market sources indicated that SoftBank Group, a Japanese fund that recently raised $100bn, has its eyes set on ANA. SoftBank is a Japanese multinational telecoms and internet firm and has operations in broadband, fixed-line telecommunications, e-commerce, Internet, technology services, finance, media and marketing.

The other possible buyer was “Facebook, a US-based social media company”, an industry source told BR.

ANA chief executive, Grant Fredericks, didn’t’ confirm or deny the speculation, but told BR that “the market can expect an announcement later this year. I cannot deny that we are in an advance stage with more than one global group interested in buying ANA.”

Read the full article here:

Independent Media joins hands with Sanlam Cape Town Marathon

Published 25 July 2017, by Staff Reporter

Independent Media was named an official partner of the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon at the 50-day countdown to the event on Tuesday.

Jermaine Craig, head of Independent Media’s sports division, says the partnership with the Cape Town Marathon is a strategic move to align the media company with this world-class event.

“Running is the most accessible leisure activity and in Cape Town especially, it brings people together in a way that transcends our diverse cultures as the people of this city. This is what we strive to achieve with our longstanding brands as well – our media platforms are essentially bridge-builders and connectors of people,” said Craig.

“We at Independent Media are looking forward to a strong partnership with the Sanlam Cape Town Marathon.

“As the African continent’s only gold-standard marathon, we support the lofty global objectives of staging an event comparable to the best in the world, amongst the likes of the London, Berlin, New York and Tokyo Marathons.

“Even more so, we at Independent have the strong Cape Town and national footprint to support the event’s growth in South Africa’s strong road running community, and to engage, unite and involve all sectors of the Cape Town community behind this fantastic event.”

The Sanlam Cape Town Marathon is on track to host the first IAAF Gold Label city marathon in Africa. The 42.2km road race has made huge strides since it was relaunched in 2014, quickly establishing its place as one of only a select few marathons in the world to achieve IAAF Gold Label status.

Thabied Majal, Sanlam Emerging Markets (SEM) Group Executive: Corporate Affairs and Services, said: “We are proud to sponsor the marathon for the fourth consecutive year. The race is Africa’s only IAAF Gold Label marathon.

“Under this prestigious grading, it places this event, the City of Cape Town and our continent on the global stage alongside famous city marathons such as Boston, New York, Tokyo and London – and with it, gives athletes from Africa the opportunity to compete against the best long-distance runners on home soil.”

Last year’s winners, Britain’s Tish Jones and Ethiopia’s Asefa Mengstu Negewo, have confirmed that they will be back to compete.

Negewo broke the record for the fastest performance for a standard marathon on South African soil in last year’s race.

The route this year has been slightly modified to make it even faster by eliminating several turns, thereby giving both local and international athletes the chance to chase record times.

Read the full article here:

INDEPENDENT MEDIA LAUNCHES NEW LIFESTYLE SUPPLEMENT – SATURDAY LIVE

Published 6 July 2017, by a Staff Writer

It’s time to Take Back Your Saturday – forget about chores or being a couch potato, go out and have fun.

To help you reclaim your day off, Independent Media is publishing Saturday Live from this week.

The national 12-page lifestyle supplement will appear in the Saturday Star, Independent on Saturday, Pretoria News Weekender and Weekend Argus Saturday from tomorrow.

Even though it is a national supplement, readers can expect to keep up-to-date with specific events in their area.

You can win at being a weekend warrior, with the supplement as your guide to entertainment, fashion, food and lifestyle events and, generally, how to have a happy Saturday.

Some of the best lifestyle journalists who have their fingers on the pulse of all that’s “hip and happening” in South Africa, will be contributing to the supplement.
Comedian Tumi Morake is one of our regular columnists and of course, Independent’s top lifestyle journalist, Nontando Mposa

The head of Independent Media’s Lifestyle division, Mbuso Khoza, says Saturday Live will be anchored by a mix of local, national and international trends, fun ideas and luxury events.

“The concept for a national supplement was realised after our research showed that many people spend long hours doing mundane chores over weekends, instead of doing what they would love to. The weekend is meant for fun, and what better time to have fun than on a Saturday. Saturday Live is going to inspire you to Take Your Saturday Back”.

Read the fill article here:

Brics Media should be about the untold stories

Published 25 June 2017, by Riana Howe

The Brics Mainstream Media Forum in Shanghai culminated with the signing of a co-operation agreement between China’s Shanghai United Media Group and Russia’s Sputnik on Sunday.

Kochetkov Sergey, the first deputy editor-in-chief of Sputnik, signed the agreement with Shanghai United Media Group’s president Qui Xin.

Delegates from Brazil, India and South Africa, who also attended the forum, “Internet Era: The win-win co-operation of Media”, agreed to work towards greater Brics collaboration.

Dr Iqbal Surve, executive chairperson of Independent Media, said Brics Media should be about the untold stories.

“It’s about the narratives…and it’s going to become even more important as the world becomes more polarised, that the untold stories are told,” he said.

“Cooperation is absolutely critical,” Surve said.

“Until the lions tell their side of their story, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. So in this world where we are trying to make sure that as a Brics grouping, as developing nations, as nations that are aligned to progress, development, win-win co-operation, that we must tell begin to tell our stories.”

Watch the full video here:

Liz Morris named editor of Conde Nast House and Garden

Published 14 June 2017, by a staff writer. 

Liz Morris has been appointed as editor-in-chief of House and Garden, the Conde Nast Independent Magazine Division announced on Monday.

Morris takes over from the magazine’s present editor Leigh Robertson and her appointment is effective from August 1, 2017.

Michelle Fenwick, managing director of Conde Nast Independent Magazines, commented: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome Liz back and look forward to working with her again. Liz returns to the magazine to an enhanced position whereby she will be responsible not only for maintaining the high quality of the editorial content but developing the brand across multi-media platforms and seeking out new commercial and marketing opportunities for CN House &Garden”.

“As a respected creator of content both during her time on the magazine and subsequently thereafter in a private capacity, Liz is most ably qualified to take on this role.”

Read the full article here.

Africans need to tell their own story

Published 09 June 2017, by Mphathi Nxumalo.

DURBAN – Changing the mindset of Africans was key in developing Africa, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Friday.

She was launching her coffee table book, titled African Union Commission which summarises her term as the African Union’s chairwoman from 2012 to 2017.

The launch was hosted by Independent Media at the Hilton Hotel in Durban on Friday.

Dlamini-Zuma who described herself as a “continental soldier” said people think the world donates to Africa but instead it’s Africa that donates to the world in terms of labour and resources. She said this mindset needs to change.

Dlamini-Zuma said this could change in a number of ways. One of them was to improve intra-Africa trade and it was important for the continent to industrialise, from infrastructure to energy.

“Africa is a dark continent in the sense that we don’t have enough energy. Currently, Africa is generating slightly more electricity than Spain and in Sub-Saharan Africa most of the electricity is in South Africa which is not enough,” she said.

There was also not enough investment in the continent despite the continent being endowed with resources.

“We have every mineral you can think of,” she said. The most precious resource is its people she said. The continent has more than a billion people that are still young. By 2025, 25% of youth will be in Africa.

“It’s only people that can create wealth,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

But for people to be able to work there needed to be an investment in their health and education. She noted that it should be both men and women.

Part of good health was food, and currently, 80% of processed food in Africa is imported and this should not be the case.

“We should be doing it here for ourselves,” she said explaining that this could bring in tens of billions of dollars and could do a lot for the development of the continent.

This was particularly important as “Africa is the only continent that has unused arable land,” she said.

“We need to modernise agriculture so that women can work the fields better and attract young people to agriculture,” Dlamini-Zuma said.

She said Africa had a story to tell, and the book was part of telling the African story.

One person who also encouraged in telling the African story is Sekunjalo Executive Chairman, Dr Iqbal Survé.

He said Dlamini should not be referred to as President Jacob Zuma’s ex-wife but as a woman in her own right. He lauded her successful fight against smoking in restaurants and public places. Survé lauded her role as Home Affairs, Health and Foreign Affairs among other things.

Except for Independent Media, Survé said the media portrayed black people are corrupt, murky and incompetent. This was the narrative perpetuated by the likes of Nasionale Pers and Caxton group who were running a campaign to remove a democratically elected government, Survé said.

Survé said it was only Independent Media that was giving both sides of the story.

Read the full article here

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.