Daily Maverick’s Moodley peddling lies to undermine Survé’s share buy-back

Published Apr 25, 2024


THERE is no longer any way to easily trust anything you read in the media, be it mainstream or social. When truth is put on to those largely contaminated platforms, it becomes sceptical of itself.

Only individuals who are able to compare knowledge-based realities with current fabrications have a true understanding of the scope of this disinformation crisis that is a common notion.

And this notion is not at all allayed by the latest stream of abuse from the Daily Maverick’s Neesa Moodley, who, in her attempt to defend the Daily Maverick’s truth, blatantly lied in the very first paragraph of her article under the headline “Bad business has not dented Iqbal Survé’s ‘billions’ — or so he says”.

Moodley falsely states that Sekunjalo chairman and philanthropist Dr Iqbal Survé announced in an article published by Independent Media (which he chairs) that he has “repurchased assets valued at more than R5billion in industrial consortium Ayo”.

The triggering factor is that I, in my editorial capacity, wrote the article she refers to and at no point did I even implicitly suggest an announcement by Survé, let alone mention AYO Investment Technologies, which is not an “industrial consortium”.

Moodley wrote: “Self-proclaimed philanthropist Dr Iqbal Survé announced last week in an article published by Independent Media (of which he is chairperson) that he has repurchased assets valued at more than R5 billion in industrial consortium Ayo.”

In my article, I was discussing the buy-back of Premier Fishing & Brands and African Equity Empowerment Investments (AEEI); at no point did I refer to AYO. Moodley, for some nefarious reason, misrepresented my article.

All information about Sekunjalo’s interests in listed entities is available in the public domain, and for non-listed entities, public statements are issued, which are covered on open platforms.

It is hard to believe that an award-winning business journalist of more than 15 years could miss this.

With such a wealth of experience, missing such significant points is a “no-no” but, considering the stance taken by the Branislav “Branko” Brkic-run entity against Independent Media, peddling lies about Independent Media’s chairman would be acceptable.

Spare a thought for the readers.

Moodley lied about Survé buying back R5bn worth of assets in AYO. She also lied about Survé announcing the buy-back in that article. I never spoke to the guy. The article is based on information that is in the public domain.

Moodley, in her diatribe, then delves into the AYO share price and the tech firm’s settlement with the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which manages assets on behalf of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF).

She suggests that the PIC may have lost out on its investment but conveniently omits the fact that the listed company’s share price was driven down by, among others, the very media house that she writes for by constantly publishing false claims about the company.

The sustained negative publicity led to the banks moving to close down the group’s accounts, citing reputational damage, but Moodley, in her wisdom, seems to suggest that this has to do with Survé’s money.

No. It has everything to do with the misinformation that the Daily Maverick and others have been publishing. The banks themselves even said there was no wrongdoing at Sekunjalo and its affiliated companies and just cited negative media reports.

All this information is in the public domain, and again, a journalist of Moodley’s calibre cannot miss this, so it wouldn’t be wrong to conclude that she is deliberately peddling lies to keep the public misinformed.

She goes on to suggest that the AYO-PIC settlement led to staff at Independent Media being paid 75% of their salaries. Firstly, AYO is not at all linked to Independent Media apart from that they are under the same Sekunjalo umbrella. Secondly, staff’s salaries were never cut to 75%. I work there, so I would know.

It’s quite disheartening for us journalists to realise that the Daily Maverick, which stated recently that it was struggling along with the media industry in general, would try to drive a wedge between Independent Media and its owner, who has spent over R1.2bn to keep it afloat.

The spreading of this misinformation virus will eventually affect the perpetrators. I mean, it has already backfired in that Survé was able to buy back assets at a fraction of the price because detractors fought tooth and nail to drive down the share price.

I wonder if Rebecca Davis will be fact-checking this …

[email protected]