Sekunjalo chairperson Dr Iqbal Survé addresses FSCA investigators on Wednesday. Photo: Ayanda Ndamane/African News Agency (ANA)

CAPE TOWN – Black First Land First (BLF) has denounced the raid conducted without prior notice by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) on Wednesday at the offices Dr Iqbal Survé, the chairperson of both Independent Media and the Sekunjalo Group. 

In a statement on Thursday the BLF condemned the ruthless campaign of misinformation, defamation and lies conducted against Survé – in a bid to destroy him and his companies because he represents a precedent for black success. 

“White monopoly capital (WMC) interests are envious of the success of Independent Media, Sekunjalo Holdings and even AYO Technology Solutions under the competent leadership of Dr Survé,” reads the statement.

The BLF said that since the Sekunjalo consortium acquired Independent Media in July 2013, Survé and his companies had been subjected to atrocious attacks by the WMC interests (including the white-owned media houses and state institutions) who oppose media transformation in South Africa. 

These attacks have intensified in the recent times more especially on Survé.

“The probe by FSCA into allegations of market manipulation and contravention of section 80 of the Financial Markets Act is clearly motivated by WMC. The enemy of media transformation is conducting a ruthless campaign via repression, misinformation, defamation and lies against Survé in a bid to destroy him.

“We agree with the sentiments of Dr Survé regarding the allegations that Sekunjalo Holdings is irregularly share trading against AYO Technology Solutions. We say, if the investigation needed information about AYO that they believed was on the laptops and computer hard drives held at the companies of Survé, they should have simply asked for it. 

“Instead of investigating the complaint lodged by Sekunjalo that ‘certain well-known hedge funds and asset managers’ were attempting to bring down the share price of AYO, FSCA is now being used to investigate Sekunjalo,” reads the statement.

The BLF said it was clear that in an attempt to intimidate Survé and his media group into not publishing the truth, certain powerful entities were afraid that damning evidence – not limited to corruption – which would implicate them criminally and would show that they were compromised, conflicted and beholden to WMC and to this end would not be fit to hold office in any state entity, whatsoever. 

Sekunjalo Group said on Thursday that it was of the considered opinion that the FSCA’s application was entirely without merit and that Judge Gamble was misled by the FSCA. 

“His decision to grant this application was based on a gross misrepresentation of the facts and the vital omission of material information. We have accordingly instructed our legal counsel to proceed to the High Court to set the FSCA application aside,” said Sekunjalo.

It should be noted that the FSCA has not raided any other company operating in South Africa, in the way they invaded our offices. “There are many accounts in the public domain of corruption at Steinhoff, Tongaat Hulett, EOH and hundreds of other companies, yet, the FSCA raids our offices on the pretext of share price manipulation. 

“Their behaviour is inconsistent with that of a regulator, and in breach of their functions. Their actions have brought the office of the FSCA regulator into disrepute. This is a blatant abuse of power with the specific purpose to achieve private, personal and political agendas,” the company said in a statement.

The BLF said it stands in solidarity with Survé in his pursuit of the truth and media transformation. “We say #HandsOffDrIqbalSurvé.”

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