I have noted with dismay, the interviews and comments made by the CEO of Sygnia Limited, Magda Wierzycka, during various interviews she has given on platforms such as Radio 702 / Cape Talk, Classic FM, and the statements attributed to her in Business Day and BDLive that were published 12 December 2018. In these interviews, she has made several remarks and statements aimed at me personally. For the record, Mr Khalid Abdulla and AEEI responsibly reported this matter to the authorities, and the fact that he is related to me via marriage, is of no consequence to the matter under discussion.
In his affidavit, Mr Abdulla alleges that Magda Wierzycka tried to unduly benefit from buying the Sygnia shares that AEEI owns at a well below market price, this in exchange for not writing negative articles about Sekunjalo Group companies and thereby negatively influencing the media and market. For the sake of clarity, in addition to the illegal nature of the proposition, the undue benefit to Ms Wierzycka, based on the above scenario, would have been many millions of Rands of self-enrichment.
All relevant evidence with regard to this extortion attempt has been handed over to the police. AEEI has done it’s duty by reporting the matter and charging Ms Wierzycka, as is required by law in cases of attempted extortion. Extortion – attempted or actioned – is serious and no matter how Ms Wierzycka tries to explain this away, she will have to answer to the authorities.
I would point out that Ms Wierzycka, as she has done on numerous other occasions, lies blatantly in these interviews. Firstly, she has repeatedly made the claim that she has sued me for defamation. This is untrue. I have never received a summons from Ms Wierzycka and for the record I have only met her once. I have absolutely no relationship with her and have no intention of having a relationship with her and can only assume she is trying to seek publicity at my expense or to influence the case.
For the record, Ms Wierzycka has issued a summons to Independent Media for articles that were printed by columnists writing for Independent Media. As is normal for media houses across the world, not everything that is written is welcomed by the people about whom the articles are written, and we therefore receive a number of summons documents during the course of business. We treat each of them on their own merits. In the case of Ms Wierzycka, the attorneys of Independent Media and the editors that she is looking to sue, have been informed to oppose this action. Independent Media and its editors are confident that Ms Wierzycka’s case is frivolous fictitious and entirely without merit.