Dr Iqbal Survé: At re­ceiv­ing end of BizNews’ fake news

To sug­gest that Survé’s pres­ence on plat­forms with Pres­i­dent Zuma is an at­tempt to se­cure gov­ern­ment’s favour, is… a bla­tant un­truth.

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS - 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 chair­per­son 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 among 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.

De­cline

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 chair­per­son of the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s Global Growth Com­pa­nies Ad­vi­sory Board and vice-chair­per­son of the Global Agenda Coun­cil 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 South African 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 chair­per­son of the South African chap­ter of the Brics Busi­ness Coun­cil.

Th­ese are all high-pro­file, pro­fes­sional lead­er­ship po­si­tions sim­i­lar to those en­joyed by other chief ex­ecitives and chair­per­sons 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 chief ex­ec­u­tives 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 chief ex­ec­u­tives 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.

De­fame, dis­credit

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?

Per­haps it is no co­in­ci­dence that Hogg’s at­tack fol­lows an ad­dress by Survé to an in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence who at­tended the board din­ner of the World As­so­ci­a­tion of News Congress on Tues­day evening in Dur­ban. In his speech, Survé re­ferred to the role of the me­dia un­der apartheid and lam­basted com­pa­nies like Naspers for aid­ing and abet­ting the apartheid regime. Naspers made sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic gains from this re­la­tion­ship which has laid the foun­da­tion for the com­pany’s suc­cess to­day while con­tin­u­ing to rep­re­sent apartheid in­ter­ests.

Why is Hogg for in­stance not writ­ing dis­parag­ingly about DSTV re­cently ad­mit­ting to price fix­ing and con­tra­ven­ing the Com­pe­ti­tion Act, for which they have agreed to pay a fine of R22 mil­lion? Are the ad­mit­ted of­fend­ers in this in­stance not black enough for Hogg and too close to home?

The de­spi­ca­ble and am­a­teur­ish at­tempts by Alec Hogg will not suc­ceed and in fact South Africans will be­come wiser to the fact that Alec Hogg is un­der the con­trol of his masters in Lon­don, in­clud­ing Naspers in South Africa.

PHOTO: TRACEY ADAMS

In­de­pen­dent Me­dia chair­per­son Dr Iqbal Survé has be­come the vic­tim of an ob­ses­sion to de­fame.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.