African News Agency to sue Times Media Group for R500 million

Press Release

On instructions of African News Agency (ANA), our attorneys, Webber Wentzel, sent letters of demand  to Times Media Group, Ann Crotty, Ray Hartley, Business Day and Business Live on  8th of March 2017 demanding that they retract defamatory statements made about ANA in an article, “Breaking the News” published on 23 February 2017. They were given three days to retract the defamatory article but have instead released a further statement repeating the original defamatory article.

Ann Crotty and Times Media Group’s Financial Mail have in their most recent statement  misinformed the public by stating that they had contacted ANA. We wish to make it clear that at no stage has any reporter from Financial Mail, Business Day or Business Live contacted ANA, its Chief Executive or President regarding the claims made in their article. Furthermore, no other ANA staff member was contacted by the Financial Mail or Ann Crotty regarding the claims published in their original  article. In this regard Ann Crotty, the Financial Mail and Business Live chose to ignore ethical journalistic practice by neglecting to verify the validity of any of their claims.

ANA is a global content syndication service provider with video, text and pictures using world class technology which has attracted international investors both for its content syndication service and its soon-to-be-launched social media platforms. These investors are partners and committed to ANA’s growth strategy within South Africa and the rest of the world. ANA further plans to extend its footprint into various other locations including Boston, New York, San Francisco, London, Paris and Mumbai.

The defamatory article published by Ann Crotty and the Financial Mail has resulted in significant reputational damage to ANA, its international investors and partners, including its 40-plus media partners globally. Should Ann Crotty, the Financial Mail, Business Live, Business Day or any other reporter of Times Media Group have contacted ANA, we would gladly have provided them with the correct information.

ANA has set aside a substantial sum to litigate against Times Media Group and Tiso Blackstar, to claim an amount of R500 million in damages suffered.

To date, ANA has raised more than R2 billion in the global capital market from our investors and has their full backing to pursue a full damages claim against Ann Crotty, Times Media Group, its publications and other executives for these defamatory statements. ANA also plans to hold Tiso Blackstar, listed on the AIM of the London Stock Exchange, to account for these defamatory statements. ANA strongly believes its claims will be successful against Times Media Group, its publications, Ann Crotty and others for the publication of numerous false defamatory statements.

Through the article published by Times Media Group and its publications, Ann Crotty has dragged ANA into the alleged ongoing smear campaign by several journalists, including former journalists of Independent Media against Independent Media, Sekunjalo and Dr Survé. Recent statistics and industry research show that Times Media Group is facing financial challenges and have lost significant market share to their rivals including Independent Media, Media24 and CTP. More importantly, their rivals, continue to outperform them in terms of circulation and technology innovation.

ANA is reluctant, but feels compelled to take legal action against Times Media Group in the South African and UK courts and, after having carefully considered the legal issues ANA is confident that it will be successful in holding them to account for publishing false and defamatory statements.

ENDS

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Issued by Grant Fredericks

Chief Executive Officer

African News Agency

email: grant.fredericks@africannewsagency.com

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE BY SEKUNJALO INVESTMENT HOLDINGS AND RAMPHASTOS INVESTMENTS

SOUTH AFRICAN AND DUTCH BILLIONAIRES START AFRICAN INVESTMENT ALLIANCE 

Dutch entrepreneur Marcel Boekhoorn and South African investor-philanthropist Dr Iqbal Survé today announced a joint investment in a South African gold reclamation project. The investment will see significant amounts of gold being reclaimed from mining dumps using state of the art technology, resulting in both the creation of jobs and foreign currency earnings for the South African economy.

Mr Boekhoorn is one of Europe’s most successful investors with a long track record of exceptional returns, making him one of the wealthiest persons in the Netherlands.

Mr Boekhoorn’s holding company, Ramphastos Investments, comprises a wide array of business interests ranging from cutting edge technology (voice biometrics, digital antenna’s, de-compostable coffee cups, aviation glass) to private equity and real estate. His most prized real estate asset is the High Tech Campus Eindhoven, often dubbed the most intelligent square mile in the Netherlands.

“Partnering with Dr Iqbal Survé, a well-respected and highly reputable industrialist enables us to bring novel technology to the country while capitalizing on Dr Survé’s knowledge and network”, said Mr Boekhoorn.

Dr Iqbal Survé is a South African billionaire philanthropist and technology investor, Executive Chairman of Sekunjalo Group and Executive Chairman of Independent Media.

Dr Survé emphasized that he expects to report more joint investments with Mr Boekhoorn in the months to come. He concluded that Mr Boekhoorn’s focus on sustainable, impact projects is aligned with some of the objectives of the R500m Sekunjalo Impact Fund, which was launched on 9 February 2017. Two key areas of the Impact Fund are sustainability as well as technologies.

Unique about the gold project announced today is the fact that the two businessmen invested without ever having seen each other, both merely relying on on the ground staff’s recommendations. Both entrepreneurs are committed towards a long-term partnership with joint teams already vetting follow-on transactions.

ENDS

For further information, please contact:

– Corné Melissen [E: corne@ramphastos.com / T: +31 6 13 809 407]

– Lavendra Naidoo [E: info@sekunjalo.com / T: +27 21 671 7058]

AN ASTUTE GIANT HAS FALLEN

Press Release

South Africa stands on the shoulders of giants, those brave enough to use whatever means necessary to fight the former apartheid government.

One of those giants was lawyer and later High Court Judge Essa Moosa, who using his astute legal mind stood up in court for struggle activists, aligning himself with those who fought for freedom and those too poor to defend themselves in court.

His passing on Sunday, surrounded by those closest to him, is devastating. Even though he had been ill for some time.

Sekunjalo and Independent Media Executive chairman, Dr Iqbal Survé said on Sunday he was overcome with grief at Judge Moosa’s death.

“During the eighties we knew who to turn to in times of struggle, we knew that if the security police was hunting us, if activists went missing, if people were being held in detention without trial, that our struggle lawyer Essa Moosa would be there. He did not only provide legal counsel, but also gave some of himself to many of us.” Dr Survé’, said: “We do not only salute him for the work he did during the dark days of apartheid, but also for helping usher in a new, just South Africa. When I visited him last week, I thanked him on behalf of all South Africans and for his guidance to so many of us who fought for political and social justice. Our condolences to Judge Moosa’s family, We thank you sharing such a great man with us. Thank you for opening your home and hearts to us for so many decades. ”

Many journalists at Independent Media came across Judge Moosa at some point of their careers. They were exposed to his fairness and astuteness, he was a lawyer that older journalists will remember for his work under apartheid, for many others, as a judge who paved the way for justice in the country.

Independent Media expresses its sadness at Judge Moosa’s passing. He made an incredible impact on journalism and how legal journalism is covered and written about. Echoing Dr Survé’, Independent Media says even though a giant has fallen, his passing makes us remember why he sacrificed so much, so that millions could have freedom.

Hamba Kahle struggle lawyer. Your contribution will be remembered by millions.

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Issued on behalf of Independent Media by:

Lutfia Vajej: Group Executive Marketing and Communications

Email: lutfia.vayej@inl.co.za