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R2K questions transformation movement

Supportive tweets from the Western Cape ANC and a Sekunjalo employee raised questions.

Capetonians protest outside Newspaper House following the axing of Cape Times editor. Picture: Giovanna Gerbi/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Right2Know (R2K) Campaign on Wednesday said links between the Movement for the Transformation of Media in South Africa and media boss Iqbal Surve suggests the group is a front for corporate and political interests.

The newly formed movement staged an illegal counter-protest to a picket organised by R2K at Newspaper House in Cape Town on Tuesday.

The Movement for the Transformation of Media in South Africa defended Surve's actions in removing Cape Times editor Alide Dasnois.

It says it was in the interests of media transformation.

But a number of questions are being asked about the legitimacy of the organisation.

Supportive tweets from the Western Cape ANC and a Sekunjalo employee raised questions.

R2K's Mark Weinberg says the movement appears to be a front for powerful interests.

"Facts already in the public domain suggest this new grouping is 'astroturf', which is a term for something that looks like a movement but is really called forward by political and corporate interests."

Weinberg says R2K now wants answers from Sekunjalo and the ANC about the support given to the new grouping.

The Movement for the Transformation of Media in South Africa's Wesley Douglas denies his group has links to Surve or the ANC.

Independent Newspapers said poor performance and declining circulation was behind Dasnois' move.

Surve said he was unhappy with Dasnois' failure to lead the newspaper with Nelson Mandela's passing.

The previous day, the publication ran a story about an improper tender between Sekunjalo Marine Service Consortium and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

Sekunjalo Marine Service Consortium is a subsidiary of Sekunjalo Holdings - the company that recently bought Independent Newspapers.

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