IN FULL: Independent Media response to Dr Max Price as quoted in the book 'As by Fire'

29 May 2017 - 20:24 By Staff Reporter
Independent News and Media SA (INMSA) chairman Iqbal Surve.
Independent News and Media SA (INMSA) chairman Iqbal Surve.
Image: Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lerato Maduna

Independent Media and Dr Survé reject with contempt the statements made by Dr Max Price as quoted in the book “As by Fire” by Professor Jonathan Jansen.

We are astounded by this slanderous and unprofessional approach by academics who did not verify the information prior to publication. For the record‚ at no stage was Independent Media or Dr Survé contacted by either Professor Jansen or Dr Price regarding the claims made in the book. Dr Price’s views as represented in the book are defamatory and slanderous. Independent Media and Dr Survé will instruct its legal advisers to demand a retraction from both parties.

  • UCT vice-chancellor Max Price accuses media boss Iqbal Surve of vendetta‚ rejected as untrue by IndependentUniversity of Cape Town vice-chancellor Max Price has accused Independent Media chairman Iqbal Surve of using the group’s newspapers to pursue a personal vendetta against him. 

Furthermore‚ neither Independent Media nor Dr Survé has any relationship with the Rhodes Must Fall campaign and Mr Chumane Maxwele and emphatically deny funding the legal fees of the #RMF campaign or Mr Maxwele as claimed. Should this information be repeated by TMG‚ Independent Media and Dr Survé will not hesitate to issue summons for defamation for repeating such blatant lies.

We also point out that TMG publications‚ at the time‚ prominently reported on the #RMF and #FeesMustFall campaigns. Does this mean that your editors were instructed by Andrew Bonamour to run these articles? This is the absurdity of the comments made by Dr Price. It speaks to the lack of integrity of both academics that they failed to verify this information with either Independent Media or Dr Survé.

Dr Price’s conspiracy theory is an assault on press freedom. Both Professor Jansen and Dr Price would better serve the country by attending to the lack of transformation at both institutions that they represent.

The Reitz-Four video incident happened under Professor Jansen’s watch and today the University of the Free State remains untransformed. At UCT‚ the vast majority of the academics who are professors are white‚ and very few black female professors are appointed at UCT.

These are the issues that the academics should be attending to. The media did not cause the problems at these institutions. The problem is caused by the leaders of these universities not transforming the institutions in line with the needs of black students‚ black academia and black workers at these institutions. No amount of pontification by Dr Price or Professor Jansen will detract or deflect from the real issues that need to be attended to. Dr Price and UCT know all too well that they had recourse to the Press Ombudsman for any complaints against Independent Media. Perhaps it should be noted that when UCT did this‚ they were not successful in several matters.

Independent Media will not be silenced by conspiracy theories and slanderous statements. We will continue to report accurately on the issues that affect the university communities throughout the country.

Independent Media subscribes to the highest code of conduct and ethical journalism and prides itself on reporting fair‚ balanced‚ diverse and accurate news. Most importantly‚ its diversity of content has resulted in it being one of the few South African media houses whose titles have shown an increase in circulation according to the latest Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).

This is in contrast to the results for competitor media houses which have shown a decline in circulation of their titles. Clearly this is a validation of Independent’s content diversity and a vote of confidence by its readers. Regrettably‚ the same cannot be said for TMG publications. According to the latest ABCs‚ the circulation of The Times and Sunday Times has plummeted. We suggest that TMG spends more time on focusing on the accuracy of its news instead of writing slanderous news about competitors‚ Dr Survé‚ the executives and editors of Independent Media.

-Issued by Independent Media.