Political formations, chief among them being the EFF, say the alleged R2 million donation by Johnny Copelyn, the director of Hosken Consolidated Investments - which owns 24-hour news broadcaster eNCA - raises questions about some media houses' objectivity in news reporting.
According to a detailed news report carried by the Sunday Independent over the weekend, Copelyn gave out R2m to the campaign that netted almost a billion rand and that has since sparked an uproar against President Cyril Ramaphosa as a “captured” and “prepaid president. “
Other alleged prominent donors named in the report include former Absa bank chief executive, Maria Ramos, former MTN boss Sifiso Dabengwa and billionaire Nicky Oppenheimer’s family, whose Fireblade Aviation was granted permission to use a private terminal at OR Tambo International Airport after launching a court case against the Home Affairs Department.
Reacting to these allegations, spokesperson of the EFF Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the revelations confirm their long held view that media houses have taken sides and openly campaign for Ramaphosa.
“We indicated, using the concept of Stratcom that there are dedicated defenders of Ramaphosa within media houses. eNCA is arguably one of those houses, housing people dedicated to push Ramaphosa propaganda,” Ndlozi said.
The leader of the United Democratic Movement (UDM) , General Bantu Holomisa, said all the donors who pumped money into the campaign must come out because they have not broken any law as there are no laws regulating donations at the present moment.
He said by continually hiding and having Ramaphosa trying to prevent the disclosure, this will raise suspicions that some fishy is being hidden.
“Let them come forward and disclose,” Holomisa said, adding that it is very possible that the same people who funded the Ramaphosa campaign funded the other candidates as well.
However, the chairperson of Radical Economic Transformation Champion (RET Champion), Nkosentsha Shezi, a known supporter of former President Jacob Zuma, was more scathing, saying they have always warned the public that some media houses in the country have been captured by politicians.
“What is happening is not surprising at all to us. What is sad though is that what is happening is now is the very same narrative that was used against Zuma. So, what is good for Zuma should be good for Ramaphosa. This is what we can now safely call full state capture and we are very concerned about it,” Shezi said.