Sekunjalo Independent Media Consortium to name members on June 20

Dr Iqbal Surve says confidential agreements and transaction timetable have to be respected


The Sekunjalo Independent Media Consortium (SIM) today announced that it will release the details of its Consortium members and funding partners on the 20th of June 2013.

SIM Chairman, Dr Iqbal Surve, has said it was necessary to reiterate this point of when the announcement is to be made, since there has been much speculation on the Consortium and its funding partners. Whilst SIM has previously stated that the Consortium and funding partners would be disclosed after the Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the sellers (INM PLC) convened on the 17th of June, this has been deliberately ignored and misrepresented in the media especially by competitors of INM. SIM and the sellers have a specific commercial transaction, with confidentiality agreements and transaction timetable, which must be respected as in all such commercial transactions.

SIM is concerned that competitors have used redacted documents provided to the Competition Commission to misrepresent the SIM Consortium in the media. SIM wants to reiterate that it has provided the Competition Commission with the necessary information relating to the Consortium.

SIM will not be persuaded by competitors to change its timetable of the announcement of the Consortium and its funding partners. SIM has asked all stakeholders, to respect that it's a commercial transaction and to wait for the full disclosure of the Consortium and funding partner on the 20th of June. SIM asks that stakeholders resist the temptation of speculating and making wild allegations without concrete evidence.

Furthermore, SIM wishes to state its concern that it is being subjected to unusual scrutiny in some public quarters in relation to this transaction, when there has been no such scrutiny when others have acquired competitor media groups or as to who the owners or funders are of such competitor media groups.

SIM restates its position that it is committed to media transformation and media freedom and SIM's acquisition is important in bringing a national asset back to South Africa. SIM's acquisition of INM will give an important voice to media diversity and media competition.

SIM wishes to point out, that it has repeatedly committed itself to an independent editorial advisory board and editorial charter which will make it the first large media group in South Africa to do so. SIM rejects with contempt the attitude by competitors who seem to believe that they have the sole and exclusive right to determine who owns the media and to dictate the terms of media transformation in South Africa or that they have a right to ordinarily confidential information.

Statement issued by Takudzwa Hove, Sekunjalo Independent Media Spokesman for and behalf of Sekunjalo Independent Media, May 30 2013

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