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Songezi Zibi and Carol Paton Discuss SAA’s Interdict Against Business Day, and Why They’re Fighting it (Podcast)

Raising the BarYesterday, Business Day’s headline story made headlines when it was interdicted by SAA. The airline’s technical insolvency was the subject of the article against which the interim High Court Order was issued.

Business Day editor Songezo Zibi, who is also the author of Raising the Bar: Hope and Renewal in South Africa, has written an article in which he outlines the series of events that led up to and followed the interdict.

Zibi says that his newspaper was instructed not to publish the story, which was “premised on an internal memo from the head of legal, risk and compliance at SAA, Ursula Fikelepi, to the board of the airline”. The article revealed details of SAA’s financial insolvency. However, the order came more than three hours after the newspaper had gone to print.

Read Zibi’s article:

The order includes the print edition but since we print our first edition at 9.30pm and the second edition at 10.30pm it was not possible to comply with the order, so the print edition is on the retail shelves. Neither SAA nor its attorneys, considering the lateness of the hour, attempted to notify the Business Day telephonically of their intentions.

 
Zibi was featured on Redi Thlabi’s CapeTalk radio show to explain the interdict, and why Business Day intends to argue in court that it is “flawed”:

 
Carol Paton, who with Nicky Smith wrote the article in question, was featured on Xolani Gwala’s Talk Radio 702 show to discuss the matter. She speaks about what her story dealt with, and possible reasons for SAA’s extreme reaction:

 
Paton and Smith have written another article about SAA’s precarious financial situation, published in this morning’s edition of Business Day:

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Tuesday the Treasury was still considering the application by the board of South African Airways (SAA) for a restructuring of a lease transaction with Airbus, and had not reached a decision yet.

The board’s intention to restructure the transaction has led to the collapse of a previous agreement with Airbus, which in turn triggered contractual financial obligations for SAA.

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