JOHANNESBURG, January 23 – The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on Wednesday denied that a R100,000 donation had been paid by Bosasa Operations to a crowdfunding campaign for a group of eight journalists who were suspended from the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).
TimesLIVE reported on Tuesday that Bosasa — now known as African Global Operations — appeared to have paid the money towards a crowdfunding campaign to help the journalists with their legal fees in 2016.
The SABC 8 were journalists who were suspended for speaking out against censorship of protest footage by the broadcaster.
The publication said it had seen a leaked e-mail in which former Bosasa chief operations officer, Angelo Agrizzi, instructed other officials to make the R100,000 donation, saying it would be the best return on investment. Agrizzi is currently testifying against the company at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State capture.
But in a statement, Sanef said it had had the opportunity to go through every of the 394 donations made in July 2016 to the cause, and could not find any donation from Bosasa and/or a person connected to Bosasa or a donation for R100,000.
“Only one donation of over R100,000 was made and that was not from Bosasa or a person connected to the company. Sanef has asked TimesLive for proof of the alleged payment,” it said.
“Sanef would like to reiterate that no donations were solicited from anyone for this cause and that the eight SABC journalists were never involved in or had access to the identities of the donors.”
TimesLive said two sources close to Bosasa said that the company had paid the money but the publication was unable to independently verify if this was indeed the case. (ANA)