New Age denies pressuring DA

2013-01-30 21:09

Cape Town - A meeting between DA MP and federal chairman Wilmot James and The New Age (TNA) editors was a constructive, broad-ranging discussion on issues of media, politics and their impact on society, the newspaper said on Wednesday.

TNA chief executive Nazeem Howa was responding to allegations by DA leader Helen Zille that he, along with TNA editor Moegsien Williams and managing editor Atul Gupta, had tried to put pressure on James to "back off" from asking parliamentary questions on public funding of the publication.

"It was a much more constructive meeting than reported, and at which, as a consequence, Professor James invited Moegsien to address the DA caucus next month," said Howa.

He said they had pointed out that the DA had a "narrow focus" in the questions it was asking and that the party should include all newspapers in its probe.

"Professor James, in fact, conceded this point and undertook to raise it within the party structures," said Howa.

Howa said the possible sale of the Independent Newspaper group did come up for discussion as part of a discussion on the "changing media landscape" and the impact on the 2014 election campaign.

Earlier on Wednesday, Zille accused the party of adopting a heavy-handed approach during the meeting with James at his home, at the end of last year.

"The three adopted a heavy-handed approach, and said the DA should be aware of the fact that the Independent Group would soon be bought by a well-known ANC sympathiser and that this would be very bad for the DA," Zille told reporters at Parliament.

Zille and TNA executives have been involved in a public spat, after she refused to speak at one of their business breakfasts, saying it was being funded by public money. The newspaper hit back, saying she had been aware of this fact when she attended one of their breakfasts in the past.

Asked about the meeting, James told Sapa he did in fact agree that the DA should look at the public funding of all newspapers.

James backed Zille on the tone of the meeting.

"It was a pressure discussion, it was not an innocent discussion... we were asking questions in Parliament and they were very heated in their approach," James said.

James said the TNA executives had made it clear that the DA's questions were "harmful for business".

  • gabriel.madisha - 2013-01-30 21:31

    New age is a new kid in the block and they cannot afford to be seen as bias because that my be detrimental to it's growth. Unfortunately "having connection with high political profile only helps in failing to expose such"

      blind.ancsheep - 2013-01-30 21:53

      New Age was set up as an ANC mouth piece because the cANCer complained that the "other" media were biased

  • derek.francois.3 - 2013-01-30 21:36

    so now questions are harmful for business! should we not question why taxpayers money is being used to fund this excuse for a newspaper................their business relationship with Showerhead is harming the country.........

      Barefoot - 2013-01-30 21:45

      funny how you only find statements made by one side are the credible and the other not! I do not have blind allegiance to no man( or woman). No one is perfect- used to be on the ANC then DA's side now for a few years no one gets the vote!

  • Barefoot - 2013-01-30 21:39

    He said, She said ! Bullsh*t

  • jones.mkandawire - 2013-01-30 22:05

    Why the new age out of all these other papers? Interesting very interesting. Is honestly not because it not a mouth piece of a certain sector of opposition, like all these other publications such as the city press,sunday mail and guardian and all these white owned media houses whose coverage day in day out is about His excellency president of the Democratic Republic of South Africa Mnumzana J G Zuma and anti Anti_ANCism.While the new kid on the block which is BLACK OWNED chose to be balanced in coverage

      ian.despy - 2013-01-31 01:17

      you know that your statement holds no truth............look in your heart my man

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-31 10:06

      Jones,mkandawire. Te Guptas will throw a fit if they know you call them black.

      Ethienne Ibrahim - 2013-05-03 11:57

      South Africans should stop looking only at the tips of their noses , no plane is allowed to land without permission , even emergency landings get permission to do so

  • Yuric Leander - 2013-01-30 22:21

    TNA shouldve worried about whats gud for bussiness bfore gettn into bed with the ruling party! nsd now that these questions r being asked the DA is at fault! its bcos they the only party willing to ask these questions!

      bobby.rosewood.1 - 2013-01-30 22:47

      To ask questions is their purpose, as opposition. They don't rule, they comment on how the country is ruled. That's all the power they have.

      tersia.louw.12 - 2013-01-30 23:23

      Civics 101, Yuric.

  • thembinkosi.jozie - 2013-01-30 22:25

    Zille has made a statement.Now we r waiting for a statement from Zuma about the taxpayers money channelled to the guptas.Its not about donations its about corruption The judicial commission must probe the DA anc and the guptas

      bobby.rosewood.1 - 2013-01-30 22:48

      They can probe me.

  • Hasani P - 2013-01-30 22:25

    So Zillion also lied

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-31 10:10

      Bobby.rosewood.1 Or Lao-tzu.

  • Hasani P - 2013-01-30 22:29

    Nature can be cruel, I just wish Mandela was still active even today

      bobby.rosewood.1 - 2013-01-30 22:50

      Ya. and Ghandi, too.

      Jesus - 2013-01-31 05:30

      And Buddha

  • Bluecrest - 2013-01-31 06:51

    Yes xoli she is trying to look after your grandchildren; the future of your grandchildren! Zuma and his other cadres are steeling from your childrens future and you so blind you dont even see it! pathetic sheep you people are!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-01-31 10:05

    A can of worms, once opened, will give you all sorts of trouble. The tin opened the day the Guptas hit South African shores.

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