The Daily Maverick: Why it matters that they are funded with blood money
Over the past few weeks, it was revealed that online news portal, the Daily Maverick, has allegedly been paying students to purposefully write negative articles about a number of black South African businessmen, Dr Daniel Matjila and Dr Iqbal Survé among them.
The allegations were made by former contributor and student Modibe Modiba who, to absolve his conscience, took to Twitter last week to answer
his followers as to why it was he no longer contributed to the news platform.
Over the past few months, Independent Media has sent questions to the Serbian owner and editor-in-chief of the Daily Maverick, Branko Brkic, requesting to know who was funding them, apart from the members of the public who "subscribe" to the portal. Independent Media considers it in the public’s interest to know just who funds media in South Africa.
While the DM frequently state they uphold transparency as a key tenet of their journalistic values, Brkic has steadfastly refused to disclose the
information, claiming that who their funders are has no influence of their editorial policies or reporting. Last week’s startling allegation by Modiba changes that.
I am sure the funders, whoever they are, would not want their money to be used in this manner. Accepting that this practice could, or does, occur at this publisher would be complicity by association.
We have previously confronted Brkic with the information at our disposal, that the Oppenheimer family, which amassed obscene amounts of wealth as a result of colonisation and apartheid, have funded the Daily Maverick with tens of millions of rands and continues to do so.
I was therefore not surprised when Ed Herbst, who worked for the apartheid-era SABC, went on a tirade on the website The MediaOnline, defending the Daily Maverick and its funders, the Oppenheimer family.
The irony is that Herbst is well-known to have worked for the media arm of the apartheid government and the propaganda machine for the destruction of black lives in defence of apartheid.
We should, therefore, not be surprised that we are seeing a coalition of apartheid-era Naspers, the Oppenheimer family and the Daily Maverick.
In this article and a subsequent series of articles we will unpack these links and Serbian origins and funding of Brkic as well as other issues.
Let’s start at the beginning. In a widely disseminated presentation Richard Poplak, one of the associate editors of the Daily Maverick, propagates the myth that the Daily Maverick is membership driven and was made famous by the Marikana massacre.
The Daily Maverick is known to be not just a sympathizer but a proponent of the CR17 campaign, where money was allegedly paid to Daily Maverick contributors who defended Ramaphosa. This in spite of extensive reports that Ramaphosa was the one that asked Lonmin to call in the police which led to the massacre of 34 people in Marikana.
It can be seen that the Marikana expose was highly opportunistic. The family largely behind the exploitation of South African miners and who worked with the apartheid government to remove the land from many people working in the rural communities and forced them to work as migrant labourers on the mines was the Oppenheimer family.
We should not be surprised when the very Oppenheimer family that benefited directly from apartheid, exploited black people, destroyed their lives and who also owned the media, are now funding the Daily Maverick.
To put it bluntly, the Daily Maverick is receiving blood money as a result of the millions of workers that were exploited by the Oppenheimers through Anglo-American and De Beers. Many of these workers were forced to work on the mines by the 1913 Land Act, they died of silicosis and other diseases deep and lived in inhumane conditions in the hostels.
This is the real legacy of the Oppenheimers who fund the Daily Maverick, thus revealing the culture and memory of the Daily Maverick that essentially remains a whites-only organisation in terms of ownership, funding and editorship.
The Daily Maverick claims that it is funded by membership and that its growth is fuelled by this membership. Be that as it may, it does not change the fact that the Daily Maverick is funded by the Oppenheimers and a Stellenbosch family with further donations from wealthy white individuals.
On the face of it, it appears as though the publication is trying to propagate the myth of membership revenue to hide the fact that their funders are in fact the Oppenheimers, Afrikaner businessmen and other global funders.
A high-level source suggests that not only has the Daily Maverick received funds from some of these entities, but the highest payments are made to white journalists, white editors and white contributors while nominal amounts are paid to black contributors including the payments of a meagre R2 000 a month to black students who are asked to tweet and write negative articles about certain politicians and business people.
It is alleged that many of the journalists working at Daily Maverick are former Stratcom operatives. We should therefore not be surprised that the majority in the management/ownership structure of Daily Maverick are all white, as were the leading journalists and editors that worked for Stratcom.
It is important for South Africans to know which journalists are working overtime to destroy the legacies of icons such as Nelson Mandela, Winnie
Mandela, Walter Sisulu and many others with fake news and propaganda.
The strategy is simple: destroy black unity and black icons. As PW Botha and FW de Klerk’s intelligence operatives once said, “Let the ANC have political power for 25 years and we keep economic power and take back political power in 25 years.”
Lastly, if anything needs to investigated, it’s Brkic’s Serbian origins. He needs to come clean on his donors and funders who are perpetuating crude propaganda against prominent black South Africans.