Top cops probe ‘intimidation’ of Dr Iqbal Survé
This after he received a text message in the early hours of the morning last month.
The message alerted him that someone had been sent to tamper with his vehicle’s brakes. Hours later when he read the message, Survé sent his driver to go and check the vehicle, which was securely parked behind locked gates.
Unusually, the vehicle was found unlocked. When the driver looked inside, he noticed a thick white substance smeared on the driver’s headrest.
The driver (whose name is being withheld) was advised to take a shower and to contact Survé immediately if he had any headaches or difficulty breathing. In the weeks preceding the incident, Survé said he had received several calls and messages indicating that there could be attempts on his life.
He said he was then advised to formally lodge a complaint with the police, which he did at the Table Bay Harbour police station that afternoon. The driver also gave a statement to police.
Provincial police were approached by Independent Media and asked a number of questions, including the nature of the complaint, the charges being investigated and whether they’ve identified any suspects.
Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said: “The matter cited in your enquiry is currently under investigation by provincial detectives. Unfortunately details thereof cannot be divulged out of respect for the process currently being embarked upon.”
Pressed for more information, Potelwa said that after consultation with her colleagues, that was the only information police were prepared to release.
Independent Media understands that the police still have to analyse the white substance and get a forensic report before determining what charges to pursue. It is also understood that the police forensic labs are quite busy at this time.
National police spokesperson Vish Naidoo confirmed the complaints were being probed at the provincial level.
About whether the matter had been brought to the attention of national police, he said “not officially”.
Weeks before the incident, two unidentified men entered Survé’s apartment building at 2am under the guise of coming to disinfect the premises.
He had just finished working when he saw a light through the door’s keyhole. Survé said it was unusual because lights in the corridor functioned with sensors.
When he looked through the keyhole, the men - who were not wearing any personal protective equipment - left and walked towards the lift, never to be seen again.
They were earlier captured on surveillance cameras as they entered the building. Security had no idea how they left the premises.
He said all the information relating to the above was handed over to the police.
Soon after acquiring Independent Media, Survé had a narrow escape when an armed man approached his vehicle outside a local restaurant. The man had been in one of two cars following him.
He said he had just got out of the vehicle when the man approached him with a firearm in his hand. Survé managed to escape inside the restaurant.
This matter was also reported to the authorities, he said.
“In our young democracy where media freedom is important, it is really sad and a huge concern that one has to be subjected to such intimidation.
"It is an invasion of one’s privacy and is an attempt to stop one from supporting and uncovering the truth and a balanced narrative to the country,” said Survé.
The businessman has been the target of a sustained campaign to smear his name, including negative and false articles by rival media groups.
“What is at stake here, all roads lead towards shutting Independent or shutting any alternative voice,” he said.