Union challenges PIC's move to liquidate Sekunjalo Independent Media
Politics / 16 November 2019, 10:16am / Siyabonga mkhwanazi
Cape Town - An Information technology union has entered the fray and questioned the decision of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to launch a court application to try and liquidate Sekunjalo Independent Media (SIM).
This follows the backing of SIM by ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte and African People’s Convention president Themba Godi this week.
Godi had also questioned the court application of the PIC when there was a commission that was looking into the affairs of the PIC.
He said before this work was concluded the PIC “pulls a stunt” and launches a court action against SIM.
The Information Communication Technology Union (Ictu) said yesterday it was concerned about the manner this was playing out in the public.
Ictu spokesperson Thabang Mothelo said questions must be asked with the PIC running a parallel process to the commission of inquiry that was investigating the PIC.
The commission, chaired by retired judge Lex Mpati, had been sitting for months and was due to release its report.
Mothelo said the PIC was quick to file a court application against SIM when it had not properly acted on Steinhoff following its collapse and loss of billions of rand.
Mothelo said they have also watched recently when the offices of Sekunjalo were raided by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority in Cape Town.
He described the liquidation action as a media onslaught.
“This move of attempting to liquidate SIM is contrary to the PIC mandate and its mission statements. Not only the investment value will be diminished but also jobs would be lost, noting the declining media sector from print to digital,” he said.
“Second, why would the PIC be so interested in eroding the investment it has made,” asked Mothelo.
He warned that the PIC should not run another process when the Mpati commission was busy with its work.
He said the PIC should wait for the Mpati commission to submit its report before deciding on the next course of action.
Mothelo said it appeared there was a third force at play.
These things raise questions about the conduct of the PIC, said Mothelo.
He said the actions could be intended to damage the reputation of Dr Iqbal Survé, the executive chairperson of SIM.
“Ictu would implore the PIC to wait for the commission’s outcome before it decides on the next move just as noted at the Zondo Commission’s proceedings, and in the meantime they should suspend their urge to liquidate SIM,” he said.
It would be unfair to start the process and this would lead to job losses.