The Sekunjalo Group and all companies within the group, as well as its chairperson, Dr Iqbal Survé, have been under severe attack by the Sunday Times and Business Day since the day Dr Survé announced that Sagarmatha, incorporating Independent Media, would be listed on the JSE.

Survé, interviewed by Business Report (BR) yesterday, stated his commitment towards a truly transformed and empowered South Africa. “Sekunjalo and all the companies we invested in over 20 years started from humble beginnings. Since I started Sekunjalo, my mission was, and still is, ‘people before profits’.

“Sekunjalo Group invested in various companies that today employ more than 5000 people directly and more than 25000 indirectly through our investments and partnerships. Three companies are listed on the JSE: Premier Fishing & Brands, AEEI and AYO.

“I am saddened by the onslaught from our partners in the media; not supporting true transformation, attacking Sekunjalo, but I challenge them to find any wrongdoing in any of our investments. We never colluded, won tenders unlawfully or paid any bribes for any business.

“We as a group support President Ramaphosa in delivering the State of the Nation address today. We share the same ethos: building a South Africa on principles such as a non-racialism, affirmative action, gender equality, integrity and equal opportunities for all.”

Survé notes his investment in espAfrika, owners and managers of the Cape Town Jazz Festival, many years ago. “It was making big losses at the time, but I invested in arts and culture simply because I wanted to create an opportunity for young artists, allowing them a fair chance to achieve greatness when no bank wanted to support them.

“Today, this investment in espAfrika years ago delivers one of the world’s most popular music festivals, creating thousands of new jobs and attracting tourists from around the globe to Cape Town, every year. Sekunjalo Group invested in food, health care, technology, telecommunication and media, to name a few. These investments were done over the years, with one goal in mind: to develop and uplift our own people.”

My message to Ramaphosa is to support the Sekunjalos of the world; my message to my colleagues in the media is to always be impeccable with your words. We are in this together. Let’s build the South Africa Madiba fought for.