SEKUNJALO INVESTMENT YIELDS RESULTS FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA

Media Release

The Sekunjalo Group congratulated Independent Media on its nomination as a finalist in three categories at this year’s International News Media Association’s (INMA) Global Media Awards.  The Awards take place at the conclusion of the 87th annual INMA conference in New York in May.

Since Sekunjalo’s acquisition of Independent Media in 2013, Independent Media has been the only African media company to be nominated for INMA’s Global Media Awards for three consecutive years. The INMA Global Media Awards competition this year received 655 entries from 196 media companies in 36 countries. Participants include newspaper media, magazine media, digital media, television media, and radio media.

Prior to the acquisition of Independent Media by the Sekunjalo-led consortium in 2013, the company lacked significant infrastructure in order to compete in the rapidly evolving media environment.  Over the past two years, Sekunjalo invested significantly in technology, innovation and skills training and development, integral to the redesign of the company.

“These nominations and the ongoing recognition by the international media community are direct consequences of the significant investment that Sekunjalo has made in Independent Media over the past two years”, said Dr Survé.

Independent Media was nominated as a finalist in three key categories.

Independent Media’s HOME Property magazine in Kwa-Zulu Natal, was nominated in the category Best Launch of a Brand or Product to Create an Audience Segment in the Local/Regional category.

“This nomination is particularly significant because it emphasises the success of our commercial strategy in Kwa-Zulu Natal.  Amidst considerable investment by our competitors to undermine our home and property leadership in the region, we have emerged successful with this great new value-added product for both our clients and readers”, said Dr Survé.

Independent Media’s national campaign to highlight awareness about racism, Racism Stops With Me, was nominated in the category Best Public Relations or Community Service Campaign in the Global/National category.

This campaign was launched in January 2016 when Dr Survé, as Executive Chairman of Independent Media, recognised the need for the media to play a constructive role in highlighting South Africa’s most pressing and burning issues and allowing for healthy debate across all sectors.  He called on all Independent Media stakeholders – readers, commercial partners, advertisers, investors, staff, and society in general – to work together to confront the reality of racism in our society. International media houses have expressed keen interest in collaborating with Independent Media on similar campaigns, acknowledging that racism is an international concern.

The #DontLookAway campaign, a national campaign which ran during the 16 days of activism in support of no violence against women and children was nominated in the category Best Use of Video in the Global/National category.  This campaign formed part of Independent Media’s Media for Social Change programme to mobilise readers and advertisers to become aware of the scourge of violence against women and children.

“We are unashamedly non-racist, non-sexist and purpose-driven.  By publicising the horrific statistics related to women and child abuse we are playing our part in drawing attention to gender violence in our country”, said Dr Survé.

Competition entries were judged in February by an international panel of 44 executives from 17 countries. Judges represented a wide range of media-related companies.

INMA has run an annual competition rewarding excellence in media since 1937. This year’s Global Media Awards competition focused on six activities crucial to success:

  • Energising brands.
  • Creating new products.
  • Growing, engaging, and monetising audiences.
  • Growing advertising revenue.
  • Developing customer insights.
  • Instilling innovation.

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

________________________________________________________________

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]