The New Age rocked by top resignations
Johannesburg - Five senior staff members of The New Age newspaper 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 15:00 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 New Age said on Wednesday it had assembled an editorial team that will in a "couple of days" ascertain when the new national daily newspaper will hit the newsstands.
Naidoo told I-Net Bridge that the newspaper had put together a team of remaining editors led by night editor Jeremy Shepherd Smith, who was appointed as acting editor on Tuesday.
Naidoo said the team will determine when the paper will go to printing presses and assess the "resource gap" left by the resignations on Tuesday.
The newspaper's management and staff were still "very much committed" to the paper, noting there won't be a change in vision despite the dramatic resignations, he 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. Ltd 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 ANC.
TNA's executive chair 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.