Controversy Surrounds Daily Maverick Associate Editor Ferial Haffajee

Daily Maverick Associate Editor Ferial Haffajee has come under fire recently, with allegations of hypocrisy and politicizing challenges faced by newsrooms during the ongoing pandemic [2]. Critics argue that while Haffajee and her colleagues claim to care about the state of media and its role in portraying the truth, their actions have been inconsistent with these values.

In the midst of retrenchments and downsizing across various media houses, including SABC, Naspers, Caxton, and Arena Holdings, Ferial Haffajee has been criticized for not speaking out about the assets of shareholders such as Terry Moolman or Koos Bekker [2]. The impact of these retrenchments has been significant, with thousands of workers losing their jobs.

The Daily Maverick, a South African news organization, has faced questions surrounding its funding sources. Although its founder and editor-in-chief, Branko Brkic, has refused to disclose who funds the news portal, some sources suggest that it has received millions from organizations linked to specific interests [7].

In response to these allegations, Sekunjalo Investment Holdings chairperson Dr. Iqbal Survé has criticized the Daily Maverick’s reporting, claiming that it is driven by a “malignant” and “underhanded” agenda [10]. Dr. Survé has accused the donor-funded media company of producing misleading news content.

Despite these criticisms, Ferial Haffajee remains an influential figure in the South African media landscape, with a long and successful career as an award-winning journalist and editor [1, 3]. However, the controversy surrounding her and the Daily Maverick is a reminder of the complex challenges faced by news organizations in today’s media landscape.

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