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Independent Media welcomes vida e caffè apology over poster

Vida e caffè CEO Darren Levy condemned the poster, saying the franchisee at the store made a call that had not been approved or sanctioned by the group.

The controversial Vida e caffè poster which went viral on social media. The poster read: ‘Olà! This is an Independent Media Free Zone - No Cape Times, Argus or Weekend Argus’. Picture: Supplied.

CAPE TOWN - Independent Media on Tuesday welcomed an apology from vida e caffè head office after a Cape Town branch put up a poster declaring it an “Independent Media Free Zone”.

A picture of the poster went viral on social media over the weekend.

Vida e caffè CEO Darren Levy condemned the poster, saying the franchisee at the store made a call that had not been approved or sanctioned by the group.

In an article published by Independent Media, the company emphasised South Africans had the right to choose what they read, see, or hear without being prevented from doing so as a result of prejudice and racial bias.

Sekunjalo Investment Holdings chairperson Dr Iqbal Survé said South Africans should defend the right to media freedom and censorship. He said Independent Media stood for the truth and this was what sometimes caused discomfort among those in authority and power who sought to impose media censorship and a singular narrative.

Levy stressed the views expressed on the poster do not represent the values of the popular coffee retail chain. He said franchisees were not permitted to communicate messages to customers that were not endorsed by the brand.

The posters have since removed from the Cape Town store and newspapers from the Independent Media stable were made available again.

Listen to the CEO explain the situation: