Whether it’s the Gupta’s or Russia Today’s bank accounts that have been frozen, the lefties’ bias and hypocrisy is showing….by Pinky Khoabane
There are parallels to be drawn between the response by so-called liberals and commercial media here in South Africa and that of British lefties to news that the bank accounts of Oakbay Investments and Russia Today had been frozen. The responses lay bare the hypocrisy of lefties but perhaps as importantly, their intolerance to that with which they disagree.
As in South Africa where, instead of questioning and highlighting the dangers of corporate power and the affront on free press, the so called liberals cheered news that NatWest had frozen the British bank accounts of RT and have judged both RT & Oakbay in the courts of public opinion.
Oakbay has among its stable of companies, TheNewAge and ANN7, both of which are media institutions. Russia Today’s crime, according to our dear liberals, is that it is a propaganda machine for the Kremlin.
But this self righteous group forgets, conveniently so, that the commercial media they so cherish is not independent at all but rather protects its shareholders and advertisers.
The same could be said here. Oakbay is owned by the ‘dreaded’ Guptas who will fortunately see a day in court following Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s affidavit that there were “suspicious” transactions in their bank accounts over the past four years. That the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) didn’t detect this when it was able to do so in the case of SARS officer, Jonas Makwakwa, is another case in the long saga between the Guptas and Gordhan and the bigger narrative that has been carved that the family have captured the state.
But back to the hypocrisy of lefties.
Early this year, four of South Africa’s leading banks decided to close Oakbay’s bank accounts and to this day, have given no explanation. In many statements issued by the now former CEO of Oakbay, Nazeem Howa, he has been at pains requesting an explanation from the banks which was not forthcoming.
There isn’t a single commercial media group in this country that has demanded questions from the financial institutions. When a commission into the conduct of banks was set up, the banks demanded they would only attend if Gordhan attended. Gordhan, not surprisingly, has refused to attend. The South African Reserve Bank has also said it could not intervene. So who exactly regulates the banks? Gordhan has pointed to the Banking Ombudsman. Does he understand how useless that institution is?
The point really is that these are the kinds of questions a free, critical and independent media ought to be asking. But Alas! What can this fallacious 4th estate do when its owners, who include multi-billionaire Johann Rupert, also own banks? They have no option but to protect their masters.