Government rejects Independent Group allegations

20 July 2022 

Government notes and rejects the malicious allegations made by the Independent Media Group’s head Iqbal Surve that President Cyril Ramaphosa and Minister Pravin Gordhan, a sitting Cabinet member, have applied political pressure and are using the banks to silence the media.

The Independent Group’s allegations are devoid of truth and seek to bring the President and the Minister into disrepute. Furthermore, the country has a formal banking system, which is highly regulated and accountable to regulators and industry bodies. 

The Constitution entrenches the right to freedom of expression, including media freedom, which is an integral part of our democracy.

Since 1994, government has been resolute in the belief that an independent and free media are vital partners in strengthening any democracy. Government on an annual basis joins the media industry in commemorating Media Freedom Day, which resulted in legislative guarantees of press freedom and editorial independence. 

Minister in The Presidency, Mondli Gungubele said: “This is not the first time that the Independent Group has cast aspersions on Cabinet Ministers. The media has been free of state control since the advent of democracy. Government enjoys a cordial relationship with media in the country through structures such as SANEF and the Press Club. The media is an important partner and stakeholder of government and we confirm our commitment to upholding media freedom in South Africa.” 

Enquiries: 
Phumla Williams
GCIS Director General
Cell: 083 501 0139

Year: 
2022
Media Statement date: 
Thursday, July 21, 2022