JOHANNESBURG, April 17 – Independent Media has accused rival companies of undertaking a “disinformation campaign” in an attempt to derail the listing of tech firm Sagarmatha Technologies.
Independent Media, the largest black-owned and managed media house in South Africa, was, through Sekunjalo Independent Media, included in Sagarmatha Technologies’s plans to list on the JSE last week, which however failed to happen.
“In the weeks leading up to the listing, certain opposition media companies embarked on a disinformation campaign against Independent Media in an attempt to scupper the listing,” it said in a statement
“Snippets of information … were extracted and represented as an “exposé”, in an attempt to mislead the public and create a picture of wrongdoing and to cast suspicion on some of the people and companies involved in Sagarmatha Technologies.”
It said the most malicious of these was the narrative that Independent Media was “technically insolvent” with substantial debt which it would not be able to repay.
“Independent Media’s assets far exceed its shareholder loans and the company has positive equity with a strong balance sheet,” it said.
“Attempts to portray Independent Media in a negative light are a stark reminder of apartheid-era-style disinformation campaigns. It reeks of monopoly and is indicative of a desperate attempt by our competitors to thwart us.”
It said the conduct of its competitors was not in keeping with “the spirit of an inclusive economy and the right of black South Africans to meaningfully and fairly participate in the economy”.
– African News Agency (ANA)