Dr Iqbal Survé is a threat to Cyril Ramaphosa and the South African capitalist oligarchy

Dr Iqbal Surve. Picture: Ian Landsberg/Independent Media

Dr Iqbal Surve. Picture: Ian Landsberg/Independent Media

Published Apr 26, 2024


By Michael Mayalo and Phapano Phasha

World renowned author, Chimamanda Adichie teaches us about "The danger of a Single Story" that is, the dangers of a one sided story. The very same way that, the law of Natural Justice or Audi Alteram Partem is considered to be a Universal Law that demands that we should always "Listen to the other side".

Now the question is, how did we get it wrong in South Africa?

How did we allow President Ramaphosa, Pravin Gordhan and some in the mainstream media to violate these universal principles? How did we allow a few men to control the narrative to the extent that they could use the mainstream media and various institutions to tell a one-sided story that could even conclude that others where corrupt without having been proven guilty?

It happened with the late Winnie Nomzama Mandela with the Stratcom machinery working with the Nelson Mandela Crisis Committee and it is evident that we never learned, as it is happening again using the very Stratcom modus operandi to deal with Dr Iqbal Surve.

President Ramaphosa and Pravin Gordhan have broken every fibre of what the law of natural justice demands from a democratic society, which is to accord everyone a right to be heard and a right to be presumed to be innocent until proven guilty as alluded above.

These are universal laws that the two have trampled on and it is not for the first time as this was the very modus operandi which Ramaphosa used as chair of the Nelson Mandela Crisis Committee which condemned and persecuted the late Mam Winnie Mandela in 1989 in a court of public opinion and without a trial which isolated her from Nelson Mandela and led to their divorce.

The Nelson Mandela Crisis Committee even established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission where members of this committee even testified against Winnie Mandela without a fair trial and turned her into a persona non grata, where her gallant role in the liberation movement was annihilated, so that she could be far from Nelson Mandela and he could presume the status of Nelson Mandela " Chosen One".

This Dear South Africans, this is how President Ramaphosa rose to prominence and his methods have not changed and he has not changed working with the very mainstream media (Stratcom) which wants us to believe their stories without question or comprehension.

But we will not. We will listen to the other side as the Universal Laws demand from us and because we are rational and objective beings and we will not apologies for this charectaristics.

The blatant and unabashed targeting of Independent Media and the Sekunjalo Group since President Cyril Ramaphosa's administration has come into power requires a study on its own because it raises concerns about press freedom, business interests, and the broader implications for media diversity and corporate entities in a democratic and free South Africa.

The media has used Mpati Commission as their reference for their attacks on Dr Iqbal whose findings were not binding and the very same Stratcom media turns a blind eye on companies such as EOH which was implicated at the State Capture Commission which is there very company that Pravin Gordhan sold South African Airways(SAA) to for R51.

Under the stint of President Cyril Ramaphosa, Independent Media was forced to face a number of legal and financial battles including their battles with banks which unilaterally closed accounts of Dr Iqbal related companies violating certain inviolable constitutional rights.

The sheer abuse of power by President Ramaphosa and Prime Minister Pravin Gordon and their undue influence and interference in institutions such as the media, banks, JSE, NPA, Public Protectors Office are all acts of dictatorship.

It was Dr Iqbal's owned media houses that exposed the billions in PPE Corruption, under Ramaphosa administration which media houses such as News24 and Daily Maverick did not cover. It was Dr Iqbal media houses that exposed Phala Phala which the President concealed and which Stratcom media houses did not cover. It was Independent Media which exposed CR17 bank accounts which revealed how a President of a liberation movement was funded by big business to capture the ANC and default the State.

It is not a coincidence that President Ramaphosa and Pravin Gordon have sold assets that belong to the people of South Africa to the very funders that funded the CR17 campaign, from Railways, to our National Carrier, to telecommunications, electricity and water supply et cetera. Which means by the time this two honourable leaders resign from Goverment they and their funders will have control of what was previously controlled by the State in the public interest.

That is why they have been in a relentless quest to shut down Independent Media because it has been the main media house that has managed to expose corruption by the most powerful.

Sekunjalo Group's experience at the hands of state institutions being abused and used for waging personal vindictive battles is a testimony to the pettiness of the principals involved. For refusing to swim with the stream and bow to pressure it is no surprise the Sekunjalo Group finds itself at the center of a concerted plot to undermine it and bring it to ruin by the current administration.

This concerted campaign to undermine the Sekunjalo Group of Companies has laid bare the machinations by certain high profile politicians in government and sectoral political interests in South Africa. Independent business observers are highly worried as they have have seen the potential impact of the reported targeting on the group's operations and reputation having broader implications for the business environment in South Africa already struggling under Loadshedding and a poorly managed economy under Ramaphosa and Pravin Gordon.

Even to international observers the reported targeting of Independent Media and the Sekunjalo Group has raised much broader questions about the implications for the future of the business and media landscape in South Africa. Stakeholders are honestly grappling with concerns about the impact on corporate governance, media diversity and press freedom as well as the ability of businesses and media outlets to operate independently and transparently going forward.

Thousands of ordinary South Africans stand to lose their jobs if President Ramaphosa and Pravin Gordon have their way and are able to shut down Dr Iqbal owned companies.

These political agitators and their nemesis in the mainstream media do not care a damn about job losses which will mainly affect black workers.

Their target and objective is very clear, undermine Sekunjalo Group and Independent Media as long as they achieve their parochial ends which is to destroy a black owned company that employs thousands of people.

Dr Iqbal's sin's in the main was to allow his journalists to report with no fear or favour and expose powerful people as expected by journalistic ethics and we must not allow Ramaphosa to get away with murder as he has previously done.

*Phapano Phasha and Michael Mayalo are independent analysts and commentators.

** The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of IOL