Five senior staff members of the New Age newspaper’s editorial team, including editor-in-chief Vuyo Mvoko, resigned on Tuesday.
“It was with regret that we received the resignations of five senior members of our editorial team, at 3pm today [Tuesday], the day before we were due to publish our newspaper,” said managing editor Gary Naidoo in a statement.
Naidoo said the “anticipated launch will be withheld for tomorrow [Wednesday]”.
The five who resigned were: Mvoko, deputy editor Karima Brown, opinion and analysis page editor Vukani Mde, news editor Amy Musgrave and arts and culture editor Damon Boyd.
“Collectively, we have taken the decision that it would be neither proper nor professionally acceptable for us to speak publicly about the reasons for our decision,” the five said in a joint statement.
They referred all queries regarding the matter to Naidoo.
Naidoo said management and staff remained “fully committed” and assured that the project would be a success.
“Management is satisfied that all sections of the project are on track and will advise shortly of its future plans.”
The night editor, Jeremy Shepherd Smith, was appointed as acting interim editor, Naidoo said.
The new daily, owned by TNA Media, was initially scheduled to launch in mid-September, but this was postponed to October 20.
The newspaper would be published by Bennett Colemen & Co, which publishes the world’s largest English newspaper, the Times of India.
It would be funded by the Gupta Group, which has close links to the ruling ANC.
TNA’s executive chairperson is Atul Gupta, while former minister in the presidency Essop Pahad is a director and senior adviser, and former Anglo American SA CEO Lazarus Zim is a director. — Sapa