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.