131217. Cape Town. Wesley Douglas during The Movement for the transformation of Media in South Africa press briefieng at the Mandela Rhodes building. Picture Henk Kruger/Cape Argus

Cape Town - The group that almost disrupted a planned picket organised by the Right2Know Campaign outside the Cape Times offices met Independent News and Media SA (INMSA) chairman Dr Iqbal Survé, editors and management on Wednesday.

The newly formed Movement for Transformation of Media in SA (MTMSA) was led by convener Wesley Douglas.

He said it was their second meeting with Survé after the newspaper owner had called them after the protests to find out what they stood for.

On Tuesday, the MTMSA confronted picketers from Right2Know, working journalists and concerned citizens who showed their support for editorial independence and called for the reinstatement of Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois.

The MTMSA had come out to support Survé and demanded that “racist reporters” be fired.

Douglas said they had expected to meet only management on Wednesday but Survé had joined the meeting with several newspaper editors.

He said MTMSA was started two weeks ago after they felt the media was unbalanced, heavy-handed and reported from a skewed political and racial perspective.

“It does reflect the mood of the people who buy your papers,” Douglas said in a memorandum he handed to INMSA management.

He represents the Western Cape Social and Economic Development Forum on the MTMSA.

The forum is a non-partisan body but is headed by ANC members like Philip Dexter, who chairs the organisation.

Douglas served as an African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) MP until 2009 but failed to get re-elected to Parliament after he had appeared as number 19 on the party’s list.

He said on Wednesday he left the ACDP two years ago and has since joined the ANC.

MTMSA is also represented by:

* Waheeda Amien, who teaches law at UCT and is the provincial chairwoman of the Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF). She was joined by PPF deputy president Kashif Wicomb who is a law graduate and chief executive of Merdeka Power.

* Chelsea Amor Lotz, who is the secretary-general of the Youth Progressive Forum. She has also started her own news site called The SA Observer.

* Black Business Chamber chairman Sizwe Ngqame. The chamber is a new shareholder in INMSA.

* SA National Civic Organisation (Sanco) provincial secretary Vusi Myeki. Sanco is part of the ruling alliance with the ANC, trade union federation Cosatu and the SACP.

Douglas said in their meeting with INMSA they had demanded information on how much the company spent on procuring goods and services from black business, how much black staff were paid compared to white employees, the equity plan and black economic empowerment statutes.

He said they would also approach other media houses.

The Right2Know Campaign also handed a memorandum with demands to the company.

INMSA Cape general manager Sandy Naudé did not want to say when they would respond to the memorandums.

“We are considering our response at present and will hopefully be able to answer the questions in a short while,” she said.

Cape Times