EFFEFF response to the Gupta letter demanding withdrawal of statements against them

Dear Moegsien

Your letter dated 6 February 2016 refers.

The EFF has reached a conclusion that The New Age (TNA) and ANN7 do not constitute part of “free media” but instead they are criminal enterprises that are used by Gupta family and Zuma to engage in money laundering and racketeering. Our view is that these are communication entities of the Gupta family that seek to normalise the corrupt activities of the Gupta family and Zuma. The TNA is involved in state corruption and this is reflected in the unreasonable and unexplained expenditure of government’s advertisement since its conception.

Not excluding the fact that the circulation and readership figures of The New Age are not audited by Audit Bureau of Circulations, SAA spent R2,4 million with the paper in the 2014/2015 financial year. This is according to the parliamentary answer that then Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene gave in parliament in 2015. Another state entity, Eskom was reported to have signed off a R43 million contract to sponsor the New Age Breakfast over three years.

Additionally, there are reports that Department of Trade and Industry spent R2 million worth of advertising with TNA in a space of three years. Justice and Correctional Services spent R1,5 million, Department of Higher Education spent  R2 million in the same period.

In 2011, there were further reports that at least R27 million was spent by government on advertising in over two years, whilst R37 million was spent by government departments and state owned entities. The New Age gets distributed in government departments, offices as well as state entities. In 2011 SAA alone purchased 5 927 000 copies of TNA.

Investigations have been called for and nothing has happened. As revolutionaries who pay attention to the history of illegitimate governments like apartheid we know that such publications do not qualify as “free media”. Under apartheid, the Citizen enjoyed the same unfair support from the government as an English paper that sought to normalise apartheid. The infamous “infogate” in the late 1970s involved covert channelling of state funds to subsidise The Citizen for the purposes of propaganda.

The decision of the EFF to ban TNA however is not because of any negative story or publication against the EFF. It is because it is part of state corruption activities because unlike with The Citizen paper, the purpose here is to loot state resources, not just be its propaganda house.

As relates to what you call threats of violence, it is important not to selectively quote the address of the CIC Julius Malema at the Press Conference. The context is significant because if taken into consideration, there is no threat of violence. The point is, we love the journalists who work for TNA and some are even EFF members. We are conscious that the choice to take on a fight with TNA and ANN7 means they will be in the crossfire. Such a crossfire includes being excluded from EFF events merely by reporting on behalf of TNA and ANN7.

As for the journalists that work for TNA and ANN7, we need not speak to you who represents owners in order to speak to them. We are conscious that you do not own them, or speak for them, thus we shall explain to them through their relevant associations and unions as to the meaning of our statements.

We reiterate that TNA and ANN7 are banned from all EFF events, not as journalists, but whoever comes in the name of these publications and broadcasters. This means we distinguish between journalists and the Gupta criminal enterprises. For as long as journalists come to represent or report on behalf of TNA or ANN7, they are not welcome. In essence, our freedom of association is reserved in relation to whoever represents the Gupta owned criminal enterprises.

Finally, we restate our demand that the Gupta Family must with immediate effect disengage from all affairs, government, business and media in South Africa and leave the country. In relations to media, the actions of the Gupta in TNA and ANN7 are an assault and abuse of the constitutional rights of free media. The Gupta family, through TNA and ANN7 are using this constitutional values to mask corruption,money laundering racketeering.

We remain unshaken and victory is certain!

Letter from EFF

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