Independent Media has noted unfortunate allegations and insinuations by competitor media houses and some politicians, that the Group is part of a political “fightback” campaign against President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The claims have been made by, among others, News24 editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson in opinion pieces published on various Media24 platforms.

We view such baseless claims as a desperate attempt to discredit our journalists and our brands and deflect attention from the content of the stories we have carried.

In recent weeks, Independent Media broke two agenda-setting stories about President Ramaphosa having misled Parliament about his Bosasa donation, as well as his CR17 campaign funding and bank statements.

These stories have triggered debate and strong reactions from citizens and politicians across the political divide.

Some of the president’s opponents have used our CR17 stories to attack him and his government, which often happens in constitutional democracies like ours whose politics are contested. This is not in our control.

Contrary to what our competitors would like the public to believe, Independent Media is not party to any political fightback campaign, because that’s neither our role nor our place.

We do not regard it as the role of journalists or media companies to elect or fire political party leaders, including the president of the country. We are not associated with any politician, faction within any political party, including the ANC, and we have no intention to ever have such an association.

Ours is to report facts without fear, favour or prejudice, and we will continue to publish any story that is in the public interest.

Independent Media has a code of ethics that compels all our journalists to uphold the principles of journalism. These include honest and fair reporting, telling all sides of the story, and ensuring that our reportage is robust enough to stand up to any legal challenge.

Where we err or misreport, we have always issued immediate corrections, retractions or apologies in line with our standard operating procedures.