Johannesburg - New owner of Independent Newspapers Iqbal Surve says his political ties are irrelevant to his new role in the South African media industry, The Star reported on Thursday.
"I'm never going to apologise for my role in the struggle," Surve reportedly said.
"If that makes me a political person, so be it.
"But we fought for democracy, so that we could have a voice in this country."
The Sekunjalo Independent Media Consortium (SIM) announced on Wednesday that it had concluded its purchase of Independent News & Media SA (INMSA).
Surve said he was disappointed about claims from some quarters that INMSA could become a state mouthpiece under Sekunjalo ownership.
"They defamed me. They defamed my company. And I was subjected to the most incredible vitriol," he said.
In May, then SA National Editors' Forum chairperson Nic Dawes wrote to Competition Commission commissioner Shan Ramburuth raising concerns about Sekunjalo's bid.
Dawes wrote that confirmation was needed that no political party would control the appointment of the chairman or CEO.
Also in May, Wits journalism professor Anton Harber wrote in a column that Surve had been secretive about the purchase.
In July, the commission released details of conditions imposed to address the possibility of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) being in control of INMSA in whatever form, post-merger, either through its 25 percent equity, or the financial help it would be providing.
The two shareholders of INMSA would be SIM, with 75%, and the Government Employees' Pension Fund acting through the PIC.
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