South Africa 29.1.2015 04:35 pm

Surve “ranted” at Dasnois’ hearing – Report

Iqbal Surve, Sekunjalo Group CEO on February 22. 2013, in South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lerato Maduna)

Iqbal Surve, Sekunjalo Group CEO on February 22. 2013, in South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Lerato Maduna)

Independent Media chairman Iqbal Surve allegedly launched a number of “unrestrained vitriolic attacks” during former Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois’ disciplinary hearing, Grubstreet reported.

The media website posted amended court papers that Dasnois filed this week in the Cape Town Labour Court, which contained a portion of the transcript from the May 2014 hearing.

Dasnois said in the papers that the attacks against her character “effectively rendered meaningful participation impossible”.

She claimed that Surve labelled her a racist and an irrational woman consumed with hate.

According to the transcript in the court papers, Surve said: “And she will forever be remembered in the world as the editor that could not put Nelson Mandela on the front page… My billions will be used to make sure that it will be written that way, Alide.”

Further on, he is quoted as saying: “Disgusting; I describe her actions as disgusting… It will come out… She is a liar, she is an absolute liar… It is not emotion, I am calling the facts.”

Independent Newspapers’ chief of staff Zenariah Barends told Grubstreet that “the full conspectus of relevant facts and circumstances surrounding Ms Dasnois’s dismissal will be presented in the appropriate forum in due course”.

Independent had not yet responded to questions e-mailed by Sapa on Thursday afternoon.

Dasnois contends that in firing her Independent Newspapers unfairly discriminated against her.

On December 6, 2013, a day after former president Mandela’s death, Dasnois was summoned to a meeting following the Cape Times publishing a front-page article on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s finding against then Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

Madonsela had found the minister guilty of maladministration and improper and unethical conduct in the awarding of an R800 million tender to a Sekunjalo subsidiary to manage the state’s fishery vessels.

News of Mandela’s death on December 5, 2013, was on a wrap-around for the following day’s issue of the Cape Times.

A few days later, staff were told that Dasnois had been fired.

After the disciplinary hearing in May, she was found guilty of misconduct and summarily dismissed.

 

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