THE EDITOR of an ‘elite investigative unit’ , housed deep inside Independent Media, the so-named Falcons claims to have uncovered evidence linking the Daily Maverick to Jackie Selebi and the underworld. A report emanating from Paul O’Sullivan’s ‘Forensics for Justice’ (FFJ) used to back the piece, claims to have publisher Branko Brkic under investigation. It appears to be nothing more than a scurrilous piece on a website posing strange questions.
None of the supporting documents demonstrate any links. Nor do they support any of the claims being made.
The so-called FFJ ‘report’ conveniently follows a months-long spat between IOL and Daily Maverick. With editor Sizwe Dlamini utilising the list of questions provided by FFJ to create a rather fancy organogram — a diagram whose arrows appear to be absolutely meaningless.
If either FFJ or IOL has actual hard evidence or even a prima facie case, then surely the public would appreciate if they could publish this information in the public domain? Until then we can only suggest readers ignore the posting of salacious online claims posing as questions, questions whose answers would essentially require not only the discovery of information under oath, but a prima facie case, — surely an abuse of the justice system?
The resulting triumphant article fails to use qualifying words like ‘alleged’ nor does it provide any objective distance.
Its all facts, I tell you.
One may as well ask questions: Is Paul O’Sullivan an alien from Mars? If there is smoke there must be fire, what next, alien babies? An alien trafficking ring?
The bizarre allegations include strange claims that Daily Maverick is running an online subscription racket that provides membership access for R200 ‘without any tangible benefits’. Err, isn’t this usually called a ‘pay-wall’, as used by News24 and Mail and Guardian? Nope, that would be a paywall, what Daily Maverick have is a ‘supporting subscription’ model.
A cornerstone of the IOL claim is that Daily Maverick is passing itself off as an altruistic charity for public benefit when in fact the company is ‘in business for profit’. This is the first I have heard that Daily Maverick aren’t actually in business.
The specious claim of a scandal, seems to revolve around the failure of a subsidiary magazine company of Daily Maverick which appears to have been liquidated, resulting in write-off of a R4 million loan from the IDC. To give some context the size of the loan is an order of magnitude smaller than the double digit millions borrowed by Sekunjalo from PIC, to purchase IOL.
If anything the claim demonstrates why capitalism is more efficient at dealing with risk than statism, and why government support of media and other state-run companies creates a situation of ‘too big to fail’, with the resulting drain on treasury? Isn’t this why business exists in the first place, either to make a profit or to shutdown?
To spice up the piece, state capture and the Guptas are thrown into the mix. I suspect, next up will be an all-boys Choir performing underwater?
Medialternatives has reviewed all the legal-looking ‘supporting documentation’ currently available on the site, all of the affidavits appear to have no links to the actual story. The Falcons story further fails to demonstrate any links, and there are thus no details as to why the mysterious arrows may be leading us to Pyramids under the Sea?
Then again the farcical ‘incomplete investigation’ may just be click-bait for Iqbal Surve’s top-notch multi-baby unit, remember the unit run by Piet Rampedi? If so, IOL have certainly swallowed the bait.