Sekunjalo Independent Media's Takudzwa Hove Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Durban - One of the great-grandsons of Nelson Mandela has come out to defend Sekunjalo Independent Media (SIM) as it faces a “politically-motivated” liquidation by the Public Investment Corporation (PIC). 

In a statement issued on Saturday, chairperson of Vukani Community Development Mayibuye Mandela said the main aim of the attack on SIM is to destroy Independent Media, which is the main subsidiary of SIM and people should not allow such arrogant and brazen attacks on media freedom to happen.

“Media freedom is a hard won right. Leaders of the liberation movement, like Nelson Mandela, spent many years on Robben Island fighting for fundamental rights such as this which are now under attack from the same minority which persecuted our leaders. We say no to the constant attacks on the integrity of Dr Survé and the Sekunjalo Group,” he said.

The young Mandela undertook to mobilize support for the media company, which owns prestigious titles such as the Star, The Mercury, Sunday Independent, The Cape Argus and The Cape Times. 

“As Chairperson of Vukani Community Development, I shall be engaging stakeholders to find ways to defend the Sekunjalo Group and Dr Survé. Let’s not allow London and Stellenbosch to do to the Sekunjalo Group what they did to ANN7. South Africa needs diverse media voices. This is the only way to guarantee media freedom. The Public Investment Corporation (PIC) must forthwith withdraw its liquidation against SIM which appears to be politically-motivated…Vukani shall be mobilizing society to defend the Sekunjalo Group and media freedom,” he added in the statement. 

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

Hove added that SIM is of the firm belief 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 co-ordinated 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