South Africa: Iqbal Survé's African News Agency Was Paid R20 Million By State Security Agency, Claims Sydney Mufamadi

Former President Jacob Zuma at an African Union meeting.
analysis

Changing the narrative is a key feature of African News Agency's branding, but testimony at the State Capture inquiry has raised questions about what narrative the newswire aimed to change. They're not the only questions around Iqbal Survé's six-year-old newswire.

"When we talk about changing the narrative, here is how we do it," said African News Agency (ANA) CEO Vasantha Angamuthu while describing the newswire at an international summit in November 2020.

Years before her appointment, ANA was launched in March 2015 after Dr Iqbal Survé's Sekunjalo Investment Holdings acquired the defunct South African Press Association (Sapa), the country's only independent national newswire, that was launched in 1936.

ANA has touted itself as an African news service that provides nuanced content from across the continent countering one-dimensional narratives imposed by outsiders. It describes itself as "Africa's first syndicated, multimedia news and content distribution service".

"What is new is that we are saying: news, information and data about Africa for Africans and the world. Nuanced and authentic news and information. Our mission is to be the go-to source for anything to do with Africa, ahead of all the competitors," ANA president Arthur Mutambara told Business Report, part of Sekunjalo's Independent Media,...

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