Sekunjalo and Independent Media celebrate legal victory

Sekunjalo chairman Dr. Survé.

Sekunjalo chairman Dr. Survé.

Published Apr 25, 2024


Durban — In a decisive ruling, Judge Michelle O’Sullivan of the Western Cape High Court handed down a judgment that reverberates throughout South Africa’s media landscape.

The case, lodged by the Southern African Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (Sactwu) against Sekunjalo and Independent Media, has been firmly dismissed, marking a significant legal triumph for the defendants.

The lawsuit, centred on a contentious R150 million investment made by Sactwu in 2013 into the Independent Media Consortium (IMC), now known as the Sekunjalo Independent Media Consortium (SIM), was ultimately deemed unsubstantiated by the court.

What was initially characterised as an investment was later reclassified by Sactwu as a “loan”, sparking a protracted legal battle.

Sekunjalo has hailed the court’s decision as a validation of its stance, emphasising that Sactwu general secretary Andre Kriel acted within his authority in executing the binding agreements.

Notably, the court has also awarded costs to Sekunjalo, including reimbursement for three legal counsels, underlining the strength of the company’s position.

“This victory is not only a triumph for Sekunjalo and Independent Media but also for all employees associated with Independent Media,” remarked a spokesperson for Sekunjalo.

“It underscores the importance of constructive dialogue in resolving disputes rather than resorting to costly legal skirmishes that primarily serve the interests of legal representatives.”

The statement further highlighted Sekunjalo’s resilience in the face of adversities, citing previous legal victories in cases related to unfair bank account closures and hostile competitor actions.

The company reaffirmed its commitment to upholding legal and ethical standards while ensuring the sustainability and integrity of its operations.

Acknowledging the instrumental role played by its legal team from Abrahams Kiewitz Inc, Sekunjalo extended its gratitude to Charles Abrahams, Ilke Bosman, Senior Counsel Eduard Fagan, and Junior Counsels Nate Mauritz and Jo-Ann Moodley. Their expertise and dedication, the company noted, were pivotal in securing this landmark win against one of South Africa’s leading law firms, ENSafrica.

As Sekunjalo awaits detailed reasons from the Financial Intelligence Centre regarding the closure of its bank accounts, it remains steadfast in its commitment to navigating legal challenges with resolve and integrity, setting a precedent for ethical conduct within the industry, it said.

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