Monday, March 19, 2012

Sekunjalo seeks to Muzzle Feike

Sekunjalo today attempted to muzzle Feike by issuing us with a "lawyers letter" demanding that we stop publishing any apparently defamatory content against the "Sekunjalo Group of Companies" and Iqbal Surve.

Feike has of course rejected the demand out of hand. In response to Sekunjalo's letter of demand, Feike points out that the awarding of the R800 million tender –

(a) is currently the subject of an investigation by the Public Protector (and which has been widely reported on in various media);

(b) is currently being considered for investigation by the Competition Commission (and again is widely reported on in the media);

(c) was found to be seriously flawed by an independent forensic audit (which again was widely reported on in the media);

(d) has been widely condemned with numerous adverse aspersions cast on Sekunjalo's conduct by an array of media (including the Sunday Times, the Mail & Guardian, Politics Web, the Independent Group and Business Report) and the Official Opposition, the Democratic Alliance; and

(e) was most recently described by Corruption Watch in an extremely dim light (see In fact, David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, commented that “The circumstances surrounding Sekunjalo’s bid suggest gross irregularities. We are pleased that the Competition Commission is investigating the apparent bid rigging aspects. However, there are also inferences of bid corruption and fraud that, on the face of it, warrant a criminal investigation.

We conclude that the threats against Feike are merely to intimidate and muzzle a small but independent company. As we stated in the Business Report on 19 March 2012, Feike will not be deterred by threats of litigation and we certainly will not stop asking the hard questions.

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