A group of political organisations met in Slovoville to have a dialogue on the application for the liquidation of Independent Media. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - Political parties including the ANC, PAC, African People’s Convention (APC) and African Transformation Movement (ATM) formed a united front in slamming the decision of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) to liquidate Sekunjalo Independent Media.

“In whose interests is the PIC doing it?" This was the question asked by PAC president Narius Moloto and he told the gathering at Slovoville outside Dobsonville, Soweto, that the PIC was serving the interests of the “white media” and their owners.

He said Independent Media was punished because it pursues a “different narrative not wanted by white media bosses".

The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania's president Narius Moloto. Picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency(ANA)

ANC Slovoville local leader Thabiso Rampheng urged local residents to join and fight against the planned liquidation, saying it was a plot to make him stop reading Isolezwe, his favourite newspaper in the Independent Media stable.

Rampheng further said he was proud of Independent Media for giving him access to media in his own “African language. We will win this battle. We want to see blacks getting opportunities,” he added.

Video: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Most of the speakers, including Dr Sihle Sibiya of Intsika Economic Movement, were of the view that the liquidation application was just “aimed at silencing Independent Media and stop it from reporting without fear or favour”.

“The liquidation application is a fight and a challenge to the majority of the people in the country. They want to close down the paper because it captures what black people when through in this country during the period of apartheid. The white media wants to feed us what they want us to know. We are going to be there to support Independent Media,” Sibiya said.

Sandy Ndabandaba, an ANC representative, urged the people to take to the streets in protest against the planned liquidation.

“When we are united. We are not going to be defeated. It pains us as black people when we have to face these challenges 25 years after our democracy. It is an assault against our own media houses. We are prepared to go to the streets to defend our media house,” Ndabandaba said.

Teenage Kumbe, leader of the African Civil Revolutionary Movement, also pledged his support for Dr Iqbal Survé, saying his organisation had already mobilised several NGOs in the Western Cape to join the battle against the liquidation.

While acknowledging that they were from different ideological backgrounds, these parties were in unison that the move was allegedly aimed at serving the interests of white people.

Themba Godi of APC said: “The English media served the interests of the whites. The Afrikaans media served the interests of the Afrikaners. Now when a black person establishes a black-owned media, they want to close it down.

Video: African News Agency (ANA)

“On the surface you will think that the PIC action was pure legal action to recover the money it claims was owed to it by Independent Media. “But if you scratch the surface, you will realise that the move is actually aimed at silencing Independent Media,” Godi said.

He further said: “Excellence has a colour. Excellence is white. Incompetence is African.” Godi said white media houses want to “manufacture public opinion and control the hearts and minds of black people”.

He also slammed the PIC for its failure to lodge a similar application against Steinhoff. “You ask yourself why. They lost more than R20 billion but PIC never lifted a finger against Steinhoff. Whites are on a counter-offensive. They want to retain what they have and get more of it. It is an assault in all spheres to achieve a full spectrum of dominance. They do not want to see a flicker African presence,” Godi said.

Nyaniso Jeku of ATM was also scathing about the liquidation. He said white-owned media houses refused to give his party coverage during its formative days but only came in numbers after Mzwanele Manyi became a member.

“Their only interest there was that Mzwanele Manyi has joined ATM. They were not interested in the fact that we were forming an alternative political party.”

Video: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

Political Bureau