Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

M&G’s Trevor Ncube responds to accusations

Here is my response to reports that have been carried in the Star and its sister publications in the Independent Group about Mail & Guardian Media and Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) over the past few days: 

1. A pattern is emerging that every time the Mail & Guardian contacts Dr Iqbal Surve, executive chairperson of Independent News and Media, South Africa (INMSA), or his executives, for a comment on a story the M&G is working on, it is turned into an opportunity to attack me or my publications. 

2. I have avoided responding to these attacks because I strongly believe that the wider public does not benefit when publishers fight. This response is to provide context and to put the record straight. 

3. Last year when approached by amaBhungane, the M&G’s Centre for Investigative Journalism, to explain how he had funded the acquisition of INMSA, Dr Surve’s response was to allege that my businesses were funded by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). He has never been able to provide the proof he claimed to have to support this allegation. 

4. Last week while I was on leave, I understand the M&G approached Tony Howard, the deputy Executive Chairman, and Takudzwah Hove, the CFO of INMSA with a set of questions on a story that they were working on. On Friday, the papers in the Independent stable ran stories about M&G and AMH. No effort was made to seek comment from me to verify the allegations. 

5. Sometime last year Dr Surve called and, among other things, asked that I talk to the M&G investigative team, and tell them not to work on stories relating to the acquisition of INMSA. I told him I couldn’t do this as I don’t tell our journalists what to write and what not to write. He seemed very surprised. 

6. M&G and AMH are independent entities with two common shareholders, namely myself and the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF). The two companies (AMH and M&G) operate completely independent of each other and are self-sustainable. Moreover, each company has its own independent board of directors. 

7. Like all companies in Zimbabwe, AMH is dealing with the challenges of an economy in free fall. We founded AMH 18 years ago with one title and 13 employees and we currently employ 315 people across four newspaper titles. We are confident we have the talent, experience and brands to see us through Zimbabwe’s worst economic crisis. 

8. The M&G is operating under the same economic conditions as the rest of the industry, and continues to operate successfully as one of the key independent media voices in South Africa. 

9. If the purpose of this negative press coverage about me and my businesses is to persuade me to stop our journalists from doing their legitimate, credible and ethical journalism, then I am afraid that this will never happen. 

10. As a former journalist and editor, telling journalists what to do goes against my principles and ethics.  

11. At M&G and AMH we don’t tell our journalists which stories to write and which ones to kill. We employ professional journalists and then let them do their work to the best of their ability. This will remain the way of our journalism for as long as I have anything to do with these two great companies.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Basic web lessons for South Africa: Government hacks point to...

Recent cyberattacks at the department of justice and the space agency highlight the extent of our naïveté

‘The children cannot cope any more’: Suicide in Calvinia highlights...

How Covid-19 has intensified the physical and emotional burdens placed on children’s shoulders.

More top stories

Sisters pave the way with ecobricks

The durable bricks are made from 30% recycled plastic, some of which they collect from a network of 50 waste pickers

If the inflation-driving supply strain in the US lasts, it...

In South Africa, a strong trade surplus, buoyed by robust commodity prices, will cushion our economy against pressure arising from US policy

Farmers squeezed by big retailers

It may be beneficial for consumers when supermarkets push to get the lowest price from suppliers, but it can harm the farmers

Covid-19: No vaccine booster shots needed yet

Scientists agree it is important to get most of the population vaccinated before giving booster jabs
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×