Media company Tiso Blackstar has responded to a column written by Independent Media owner Dr Iqbal Survé last week, which read as a scathing attack on newspaper Business Day and one of its journalists, Carol Paton.
In a letter issuing a “public challenge” to Survé, the media house calls on him to “silence his critics, not with innuendo, misrepresentations, blatant lies, and inflammatory accusation, but with facts”.
According to the letter, Survé’s writing “plumbs the depths by degenerating into the cesspool of hate speech by comparing the legitimate reporting of Business Day, South Africa’s most respected business publication, to a ‘Goebbels strategy'”.
The letter goes on to respond in detail to the numerous claims made in Survé’s column, calling on him to approach the Press Ombudsman if he believes their journalists have “done wrong” rather than responding through what is described elsewhere in the letter as a “rambling column”.
The letter also calls on Survé’s to answer a series of questions, including one calling on him to provide “irrefutable evidence that the company he purchased in 2013 has the same assets today.”
The Independent media owner has been accused by one of Tiso Blackstar’s publications of stripping the company’s assets.
The letter can be read here.
The Citizen reported last week that Survé had unleashed a torrent of abuse on Business Day, owned by his company’s rival Tiso Blackstar, slamming them for “hypocrisy and lies” and alleging that the newspaper applies a “different standard” to “white companies as opposed to black companies” which he says demonstrates “subliminal racism”.
Survé went on to accuse Business Day’s Carol Paton of having “rehashed” allegations against Dan Matjila “repeatedly in the Goebbels tradition of propaganda”.
Independent Media had published articles saying that a report by Geoff Budlender following a forensic investigation into Public Investment Corporation (PIC) Dan Matjila’s conduct is “expected” to “clear” Matjila of allegations that he was romantically involved with Maison Holdings (MST) owner Pretty Louw and gave her money.
This is only one of several corruption allegations Matjila faces, but is the only one addressed in the Budlender report.
The Citizen spoke to Paton, who confirmed that the Budlender report “finds that Pretty Louw is not Matjila’s girlfriend”.
She added, however, that the report does not clear Matjila.
“It finds that he did, however, get introduced [to Louw] by [former intelligence minister David] Mahlobo who asked him to help her, which he did. He then phoned up Lawrence Mulaudzi, who had recently received funding from the PIC, for help,” Paton continued.
The ‘help’ Louw is believed to have required was financial assistance to the tune of R300,000.
“When the head of the PIC phones you, and he’s the most powerful man in the economy, and you’ve just been funded to the tune of billions, you’re going to say yes,” she added.
Paton detailed what the Budlender report found regarding Matjila and the PIC in a story last week.