Robert Gumede, South African ICT billionaire and chairman of Gijima, has threatened to sue the Sunday Independent for defamation, according to a report.
The Star reported Gumede was proposing a case against the media institution for ZAR1 billion (US$93.5 million), the biggest defamation case in South African history, for damages caused by a front page article entitled “ANC funder probed”.
Earlier this month, the Sunday Independent published an article saying Gijima was under investigation by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU), a move approved by president Jacob Zuma, after being awarded a questionable tender by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.
The newspaper said it had received a letter from Gumede expressing his intention to sue. He said the article has caused him “serious commercial and reputational damage”.
The Gijima chairman has been an open long-time financial back of South African ruling party the African National Congress (ANC).
Gijima lawyers have been told to proceed with legal action against Independent News and Media South Africa; the company’s executive chairman, Dr Iqbal Survé; group executive editor, Karima Brown, journalist, Mogomotsi Magome; and Japhet Ncube, acting editor of the Sunday Independent.
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