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'Sekunjalo Investments has no link to consortium'

Khalid Abdullah says the company needs to protect its rights which have now been prejudiced.

Khalid Abdullah says the company needs to protect its rights which have now been prejudiced. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Sekunjalo Investments, which has laid a criminal charge against a Sunday Times reporter for publishing a provisional report from the Public Protector, says it has no link to the Sekunjalo Consortium which is the controlling shareholder of Independent Newspapers.

On Wednesday, the South African National Editors Forum said it was unwise for a group that owned newspapers to criminalise the dissemination of information.

Sekunjalo laid the charge against Bobby Jordan after he published part of a report on the tender it won from the fisheries department.

Sekunjalo CEO Khalid Abdullah says Sekunjalo Consortium Chair Iqbal Surve played no role in deciding to lay this charge.

"He played no role in this act of mine and to learn of the criminal charges was internal."

Abdullah says the police are now taking this case seriously after initially saying it wasn't a criminal matter.

He says they need to protect their rights which have now been prejudiced.

"The police were confused and I can assure you that there's a criminal case that has been opened and they have acknowledged it's a criminal case. I think they were initially confused because it hasn't been done before."

Furthermore, Abdullah added the Sunday Times had crossed the line too often.

"They were always overstepping those boundaries and we took a stand, that's why we thought it's the right time now because they did this before.

Meanwhile, last week Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said she believed that to publish her provisional reports was a crime.

She is set to release her final report on the fisheries probe on Thursday.