The Independent Media has defended its decision not to run Oakbay Investments advertisement in its newspapers. Oakbay Investments is a subsidiary business company of South Africa’s controversial and out-of-favour Gupta family.
According to Oakbay Investments, it had wanted to run ads in Pretoria News, Daily News and the Argus as a direct plea to Absa, Nedbank, Standard Bank, and FNB to “save 7500 Oakbay jobs” by restoring its banking services.
Emphasizing more on the thorny issue, The Independent Media, via a statement, made it clear to the ‘troubled company’ that it is not okay to running advertisements from competitor media owners, such as Oakbay Investments, in its publications based “on the legal risk associated with them”.
“In this instance, however, Independent Media has decided not to run the Oakbay advertisements in its publications (Pretoria News, Cape Argus, and Daily News) based on the legal risk associated with them”.
It also refuted claims by the Oakbay investments that it refused to run their ads based on a “sustained attack” on the Gupta family and its businesses.
Independent Media Detaches Itself From Guptas’ Troubles
Independent Media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé said in the statement:
“Our decision has nothing to do with the political quagmire that the Gupta family find themselves in in the South African political context. We confirm our right to editorial independence and to decide for ourselves what is in the best interest of the company.”
It also warned Oakbay Investments not to bring up any intimidating or bullying action against it as it would take every needful action to protect its editorial and commercial independence.
Meanwhile, Oakbay Investments on Saturday slammed the media for its decision. Speaking via a statement, the investment company said:
“The decision of Independent Media today is further evidence of a sustained attack on the [Gupta] family and its business interests and we find it totally unacceptable that several thousand direct employees and tens of thousands of their dependents will have to suffer as a result of the campaign against Oakbay.”
BuzzSouthAfrica brought you a report on April 21 about government intervention in the Gupta family’s case. We also told you that three ministers were appointed to take care of the cold fight. The ministers appointed were Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant and Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
They are expected to report back at Cabinet’s next meeting.