It is unfortunate that Dr Iqbal Survé drags the DA into his personal crusade against TMG, says Cameron MacKenzie.
Johannesburg - Having been a reader of The Star since 1975, and a subscriber for a number of years, I have always held the newspaper and its independence in the highest regard.
Although I was disquieted after the purchase of the Independent titles by the Sekunjalo consortium led by the admitted ANC ally Dr Iqbal Survé, this unease was subsequently dispelled by reassuring statements made by the new owners, including one that editorial independence would remain uncompromised.
Given the prominent article relating to the criminal charges laid by Sekunjalo against the Sunday Times (“Police do a U-turn in case against paper”, The Star, December 5), which set out Sekunjalo’s case with accuracy and in some detail – including statements from the principal shareholder, Dr Survé – it was with dismay that I read the op-ed in the same edition (“TMG has lost the battle but not given up the war”) written by him. [SEE RELATED ARTICLES ABOVE]
The fact that charges have been laid against the Times Media Group (TMG) in itself renders the issue sub judice I would imagine. But in using sweeping innuendo and baseless insinuations to attack the group, it is unfortunate that Survé drags the DA into his personal crusade, suggesting that a special supportive relationship exists between the party and the TMG.
As a reader of The Times and Sunday Times, this is at odds with my experience, as the “Desperate Alliance” is often portrayed in a negative light by these newspapers.
The TMG, a robust and vigorous critic of the government that has been proved completely correct on the substance of its many investigations, is performing exactly how a free and independent media should in a constitutional democracy – and which, for that matter, so does The Star. If that, together with an advocacy of transparent, responsible and accountable government reads like a “DA Manifesto”, then clearly The Star, the TMG and the DA are on the right page.
Last, Survé’s reference to Times Media journalists recently “turning up on DA election lists” really is news to me. As a member of the DA’s regional and provincial executive committees as well as our national Federal Council, I know that while an elective selection process has indeed taken place, no lists have been finalised and none have been circulated.
If he does indeed have this kind of information to hand, I would be very keen to read it.
As a “new” newspaperman, perhaps Survé would be better sniffing out stories such as this which would clearly make very good headlines, rather than abusing his position of ownership to drive a personal agenda fuelled by anger and full of factual inaccuracies that does nothing to enhance the prestigious reputation of The Star.
Councillor Cameron MacKenzie, DA
City of Joburg
* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.