IOL and Independent Media condemn threats against journalists, editors and Dr Iqbal Survé over Renaldo Gouws story

IOL and Independent Media have strongly condemned the appalling abuse and threats directed at their journalists, editors, proprietor Dr. Iqbal Survé, and his family following the publication of a story involving a racist video created by DA MP Renaldo Gouws.

IOL and Independent Media condemn the appalling abuse and threats directed at several of our journalists, editors, our proprietor Dr. Iqbal Survé, and his family following the publication of a story involving a racist video created by DA MP Renaldo Gouws.

These threats, including those of a violent nature, are intolerable and will be addressed with the utmost seriousness.

We will not be cowed.

The video clip which formed the basis of the story was initially leaked to IOL.

Our editorial teams conducted thorough due diligence, reaching out to Gouws, DA Federal Chairperson Helen Zille, and DA Communications Director Richard Newton to verify the video clips authenticity before publication.

We also took an added step of making use of an independent Open Source software expert to examine the video clip.

Gouws initially denied having made the video and Newton informed the journalist working on the story that their investigations showed the video to be 98% ‘fake’.

Both these initial comments to us turned out to be untrue, with the DA subsequently confirming the video’s authenticity and suspending Gouws.

Dr. Survé, while being our common proprietor, had no involvement at any level in our editorial processes therefore the attacks on him and in particular his family and those close to him are not only unwarranted but also highlight the desperation of those attempting to undermine our journalistic integrity.

“We will not be intimidated by bullies and trolls. Our duty as journalists is to report the truth and hold those in power accountable. The threats against our team only strengthen our resolve,” said IOL Editor Lance Witten.

Independent Media Editor-In-Chief Adri Senekal De Wet said: “These malicious attacks are baseless and unjust. We stand united in our commitment to protect our staff and uphold the principles of media freedom. We will seek the assistance of the South African Police Services to ensure the safety of our journalists and their families.”

Both IOL and Independent Media are co-founders of the award-winning ‘Racism Stops With Me’ campaign, which aims to expose racism and foster social cohesion.

We are proudly non-racial, non-sexist, and progressive organisations, and we are unapologetic in our stance against racism in any form.

We reiterate our unwavering commitment to reporting on matters that impact the citizens of South Africa.

The fact that a member of parliament was involved in such behaviour makes it our duty to expose it, and we will continue to do so without fear or favour.

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