New Age ruffling feathers - boss

2013-01-23 22:37
(Picture: <a href=\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\http://www.shutterstock.com\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\>Shutterstock</a> )

(Picture: Shutterstock )

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

Johannesburg - The New Age (TNA) has questioned DA leader Helen Zille's criticism of a series of their business breakfasts that reportedly cost millions of rands in public funds.

"Her attempt to analyse the business model... is flawed and far-fetched. Her comments are more in line with that of [a] politician wishing to score cheap political points," the newspaper's chief executive Nazeem Howa said in a statement on Wednesday.

Zille pulled out of a TNA business breakfast on Monday following reports that the event was funded with public money.

City Press reported that some of the biggest state-owned companies were paying millions to bankroll the breakfasts, hosted by the Gupta family.

According to the report, Transnet paid R17.5m for 18 breakfast sessions and Eskom R7.2m to sponsor six sessions between November 2011 and last year.

It was previously reported that Telkom sponsored 12 business breakfasts to the tune of R12m in the 2012/13 financial year.

The SABC reportedly did not charge TNA a cent to broadcast the event live on SABC2.

Previously, Zille said, she was under the assumption that the events were funded by the newspaper and by members of the public who purchased tickets to attend.

"Now that it has come to light that the breakfasts are funded by public money... the DA cannot continue to participate," she said.

"These breakfasts must be very profitable for the New Age, which is owned by the Gupta family, who are in turn vocal supporters and funders of the ANC and President Jacob Zuma."

The opposition leader said it was unacceptable that public money be used to bankroll a privately owned newspaper, and indirectly fund the African National Congress.

Positive image

Howa said Zille had ignored the fact that costs were attached to organising an "event of this nature".

"She should be assured that the sponsors of our business briefing do indeed pay for the marketing of the event, the cost of venue hire, catering and event management... Without sponsors such events will never take place and it is commonly agreed that the business briefings have transformed public discourse in this country."

Howa said the event allowed people to directly pose questions to President Jacob Zuma, Cabinet ministers, premiers, economic analysts, and sport celebrities.

He said it was interesting to see the amount of time Zille and competitor newspapers were spending on analysing the newspaper's business strategy and sustainability.

"The New Age's entry into a fairly set newspaper industry and its innovative approach to newspapering were bound to ruffle some feathers.

"Zille has identified with those who want to ensure the demise of a newspaper intent on projecting a positive image of South Africa and provide a forum for balanced news coverage and debate."

Earlier, the ANC and its Women's League demanded an apology from Zille, accusing her of lying about not knowing that Telkom sponsored a TNA breakfast briefing she attended last year.

On Tuesday, the newspaper released a video clip on its website of Zille thanking Telkom for sponsoring a TNA business breakfast in Cape Town in February last year.

Asked during an interview with Eyewitness News whether she had thanked Telkom at the breakfast, Zille said she could not recall doing so.

Zille said the ruling party was trying to deflect attention away from the fact that millions of rands had been siphoned out of state-owned enterprises for the events.

"This [Telkom's involvement] was not a sponsorship. When someone sponsors an event, they pay the cost of part or the entire event," Zille said.

"It has now emerged that these costs were more than covered by the ticket sales. So what was Telkom doing giving R1 million to a private company owned by a major benefactor of President [Jacob] Zuma and the ANC?"

Zille asked if the sponsorship was merely a convenient cover-up for this.

- SAPA
Read more on:    transnet  |  da  |  new age  |  anc  |  eskom  |  telkom  |  sabc  |  nazeem howa  |  helen zille  |  politics  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
60 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
/Music

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The quest for understanding has reached a new intense emotional level. The more tempestuous your emotions are, the bigger the...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.