Nazeem Howa, CEO of Oakbay Investments Ltd
Independent Media was not opposed to running advertisements from competitor media owners, such as Oakbay Investments, in its publications, Independent Media said in a statement.
“In this instance, however, Independent Media has decided not to run the Oakbay advertisements in its publications (Pretoria News, Cape Argus
, and Daily News
) based on the legal risk associated with them,” it said.
Independent Media had noted the statement by Oakbay Investments that tried to politicise a perfectly rational commercial and editorial decision.
Independent Media rejected with contempt the assertion that this decision was part of a “sustained attack” on the Gupta family and its businesses.
“Our decision has nothing to do with the political quagmire that the Gupta family find themselves in in the South African political context. We confirm our right to editorial independence and to decide for ourselves what is in the best interest of the company,” Independent Media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé said in the statement.
Independent Media condemned any attempt at bullying and intimidation by Oakbay Investments and would take every action necessary to protect its editorial and commercial independence, the statement said.
On Saturday, Oakbay Investments expressed its “disappointment and disgust” at the decision made by Independent Media.
Oakbay said in a statement the adverts were intended as a “direct plea to ABSA, Nedbank, Standard Bank, and FNB to save 7500 Oakbay jobs by restoring banking services to Oakbay”.
Oakbay claimed the decision by Independent Media was “further evidence of a sustained attack on the [Gupta] family and its business interests”.
– African News Agency