Statement of the African National Congress on comments made by SANEF on INMSA deal
The African National Congress has noted with interest the false, opportunistic and thinly disguised racist debate raised by SANEF on the proposed buyout of Independent News and Media SA (INMSA) by the Sekunjalo Consortium.
The prospect of black South Africans taking ownership of INMSA has awaken from slumber the lumbering SANEF which for decades has kept silent on many definitive moments in the history of South Africa's media industry.
In an open letter to the Competition Commission, SANEF has the audacity to make an impassioned plea for transparency regarding the prospective owners of Sekunjalo, indeed such is not out of concern that South African media must remain in South African hands, but rather seeks to invoke the "swart gevaar" that media cannot be in black hands. SANEF remained silent and never raised similar concerns when white and predominantly foreign interests undertook other transactions in the media industry, thus leading the ANC to question the bona fides of SANEF in this regard
Almost 20 years into democracy, only 14% of media is in the ownership of black hands. SANEF's complacent resistance to media transformation is continuing unabated, as evidenced their silence during the recent culling of black editors at Times Media. For years, INMSA in particular and many media houses have been in Afrikaner and foreign hands and at no point was such a cause for concern nor did SANEF ever see the need to blink an eye.
The transparency that is called for seeks to achieve nothing but to ensure that blacks in general and those who may be progressive in outlook should never occupy any space in the media. We, as the African National Congress, welcome the transformative role played by, amongst others, the Government Employee Pension Fund to deracialise the commanding and agenda-setting heights of our economy with no fear or favour.