PRETORIA – Chairman of Sekunjalo Investment Holdings, Dr Iqbal Survé said he was approached in 2016 by Tiso Blackstar chief executive, Andrew Bonamour, to merge Independent Media with Tiso Blackstar, restructure the group and retrench a significant portion of the workforce.
Survé was testifying at the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Commission of Inquiry into impropriety at the institution, led by retired Judge Lex Mpati and assisted by Emmanuel Lediga and former reserve bank governor Gill Marcus.
According to Survé, while attending a digital conference at the Maslow Hotel in Sandton, in 2016, he was approached by a TSB representative who invited him to meet with Andrew Bonamour, the chief executive of Tiso Blackstar. This was at the height of the so-called ‘media wars.’
According to Survé, he then met with Bonamour who discussed with him a possible merger between Tiso Blackstar and Independent.
“When we had a discussion with Mr Bonamour, he said we should merge entities and retrench half of the people, get profitability and combine the media assets. I don't think a war situation between media houses is good for anyone, but I had to think about the thousands of employees working for those companies,” said Survé.