Various political groups gather at Slovoville near Soweto to talk about challenges that black business owners face, and to show their opposition to the PIC's application to liquidate Sekunjalo Independent Media. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Delegates at the citizens’ dialogue convened in Soweto on Sunday to push back against the Public Investment Corporation's (PIC) “politically motivated” bid to liquidate Sekunjalo Independent Media (SIM) resolved to take the fight to the global stage, with the western world as the main centre stage for the lobbying. 

The delegates included a range of representatives from six political parties, 12 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as a number of concerned individuals.

Among the parties that sent representatives were the ANC, Pan Africanist Congress, African People’s Convention (APC) and African Transformation Movement (ATM).

At the end of the day-long gathering, the delegates adopted a multi-pronged strategy to fight off the bid by the PIC. 

Among the resolutions was that the rarely talked about corruption at the PIC - which manages pensions for civil servants - must be exposed. 

Also to be exposed is the double standards the corporation applies to companies it borrowed money to, with Steinhoff cited as a classic example of a white-owned company that cost the PIC billions in losses, yet there was no move to liquidate it or recoup the money the PIC invested.

Before the global campaign, leaders will travel the country to mobilise society on the anti-black owned funding patterns by the PIC and the desire to use it to shut out black voices in the media space. 

“The mission is to make society realise that black people and black ideas are under siege in SA,” read the main resolution.

The other resolution they’ve taken is that the senior leaders’ delegation must reach out to the world under the theme of "concerns about what is happening to black people in this South Africa" and lobby the world to join the fight for black people’s liberation.

"We must be very concerned with how black people and black business in treated in SA of late. We must counter that. We are working to counter that." 

Furthermore, it was resolved that the political parties and the NGOs should join (as friends of the court) the legal fight between SIM and the PIC when the matter eventually goes to court.

On Thursday last week, Takudzwa Hove, the spokesperson of SIM said the legal action was not only incompetent and mala fide but malicious on the part of the PIC and its advisers. 

Hove added that SIM was of the firm belief that this action is designed as a further attempt to embarrass and undermine the Sekunjalo Group and Dr Survé personally and is aimed at provoking a run on SIM’s major subsidiary, Independent Media, which is fully operational. 

“This is part of a series of coordinated attacks on Independent Media, and ultimately, an attack on media freedom…this application is a waste of taxpayers’ money and constitutes irregular spending on the part of the PIC, which should be investigated by the appropriate authorities. SIM has instructed its attorneys to oppose this frivolous application and seek the appropriate relief against those involved, which will include seeking a special costs order against the PIC and holding those responsible personally liable.”

Political Bureau