IT’S A SCANDAL that has been brewing for quite some time, revelations that the Zuma Administration engaged in dirty tricks operations targeting South Africa’s newsrooms, activists, NGOs and anyone opposing his faction within the ruling party.
Millennials will probably not be aware of the Information Scandal which rocked the country during the dying stages of the Vorster government, in which the apartheid state similarly went so far as to purchase news titles outright in an effort to beat sanctions and the anti-apartheid movement.
That Zuma set up a parallel espionage operation, infiltrated newsrooms and appears to have invested millions in getting the Independent Group to write glowing advertorials needs to be seen within the context of the broader efforts by the ANC to replicate the state capture of the former National Party.
It was Naspers and Perskor which first set the stage for capture of the media. The perverse manner in which Naspers was essentially the ‘tap root of the National party” is covered in Chapter 4 of the TRC Final Report and also Hennie van Vuuren’s book “Apartheid Guns and Money” as too the evidence given by one Paul Erasmus.
It was therefore more than a little galling to witness an ongoing public spat between the current head of SANEF and former editor-in-chief of News24, Adriaan Basson and INM’s Iqbal Surve. Most certainly a case of the pot calling the kettle black?
Surve writes: “In an opinion piece titled “Hlaudi, Iqbal and Johnny: Inside the horror show of SA’s media rogues” and published on his News24 website, Basson uses the report of a probe into media ethics commissioned by Sanef to justify this unwarranted attack on myself and Independent Media.”
The man implicated by superspy Arthur Fraser in a ‘money for headlines’ scandal goes on to say: “The role played by Basson’s own bosses in state capture is also well documented. Why doesn’t Basson probe and question their lack of accountability at the Zondo Commission probe into state capture, or for that matter the role they played during apartheid?”
It is a developing story, and most certainly there will be questions raised as to why the Zondo Commission is focusing exclusively on state capture under Zuma involving INM whilst ignoring state capture under PW Botha et al?
Readers will no doubt recall that the dirty tricks campaign against the TRC waged by Basson and Co. is ongoing and current, and that both the state and the Naspers company actively oppose my right to legal assistance as contemplated by the Constitution in a matter effecting the life of the TRC and its Final Report.