Newspapers go head-to-head in war of words

2014-07-23 17:31


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Independent Newspapers' group executive editor Karima Brown on Wednesday accused Mail & Guardian (M&G) owner Trevor Ncube of telling an "odd bare-faced lie".

"Mr Ncube has called to question the integrity and professionalism of the Independent journalists who have produced our stories on his businesses," she said in a statement.

"Moreover, he has proven that he is not averse to telling the odd bare-faced lie in his defence."

Brown was responding to Ncube's statement on Tuesday about what he called "attacks" from Independent Newspapers on himself and the M&G.

Ncube said a pattern was emerging that every time the M&G contacted Sekunjalo's executive chairperson Iqbal Surve, who owns Independent Newspapers, for comment on a story it turned into an "opportunity to attack".

"I have avoided responding to these attacks because I strongly believe that the wider public does not benefit when publishers fight."

Mail & Guardian chief executive Hoosain Karjieker on Wednesday said the newspaper stood by the statements it had issued on the matter with Independent Newspapers.

"The allegations repeated in Ms Karima Brown’s statement are factually incorrect and distorted," he said.

"We see no need to respond any further on the matter. We will continue in our pursuit of excellent, credible and independent journalism."

Financial health

On Friday, The Star reported that the M&G was facing a cash crunch so severe that suppliers, contributors, and some staff had not been paid for months, and that it had defaulted on its rent.

It reported that the company faced a potential strike over bonuses and incentives, and that two staffers were considering legal action.

Unnamed sources told the newspaper that the crisis was the result of Ncube's loss-making Zimbabwean operations.

It claimed Ncube's Alpha Media Holdings (AMH), which operates newspapers in Zimbabwe, was not financially healthy and that the M&G was being used to subsidise his business interests to keep them afloat. Karjieker denied this.

Brown on Wednesday called on Ncube to challenge the factual basis of what The Star and Independent Newspapers reported.

"Our stories are legitimate inquiries into the financial health of an important South African newspaper and whether it is safe in Mr Ncube's hands," she said.

"The stories were well-sourced, well-researched, balanced, fair and written with due care for the interests of people who still suffer the effects of Mr Ncube's alleged bleeding of the paper."

Brown said since Friday's story, The Star had received more leads and would continue to do its job without fear or favour.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    independent newspapers  |  mail & guardian  |  johannesburg  |  media publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Win over Boks was 'massive' for Japanese rugby
Girls be hating the fat boys
VIDEO: Six of the best dummy passes from the RWC
Boks can brace for Wales - bookies
Traffic Alerts

It is always easier to notice the faults in others rather than face our own. Focusing too much on the perfect and ideal more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.