Independent Online (South Africa)

Independent Online, popularly known as IOL, is a news website based in South Africa.

Independent Online
FormatOnline newspaper
Owner(s)Sekunjalo Investments
Public Investment Corporation
China International Television Corporation
China Africa Development Fund
HeadquartersCape Town, South Africa

IOL serves the online versions of a number of South African newspapers, including The Star, Pretoria News, The Daily Voice, Cape Times, Cape Argus, Weekend Argus, The Mercury, Post, Diamond Fields Advertiser, Isolezwe, Daily Tribune, Sunday Tribune, The Independent on Saturday, and The Sunday Independent.[1][needs update]

Corporate affairsEdit


Sekunjalo Investments owns 55% of the company via its subsidiary Sekunjalo Independent Media, the Public Investment Corporation of South Africa owns 25%, and two Chinese state-owned enterprises (China International Television Corporation and the China Africa Development Fund) own the remaining 20% of the newspaper.[2] China International Television Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV).[3] Before 2013, IOL was owned by the Independent News & Media.

IOL regularly distributes Chinese state media content.[4][5][6]


Vasantha Angamuthu is the CEO of Independent Online, and Lance Witten is Editor.[7]


In 2018, Reporters Without Borders reported that an IOL columnist was forced out after publishing a column condemning the persecution of Uyghurs.[8][5][9]

According to The Economist, IOL "often engages in 'information laundering' designed to make sentiment appear homegrown, says Herman Wasserman at the University of Cape Town. For instance, it will run a Chinese news-agency story on the biolab conspiracy, then get a left-wing student leader to write an article expressing concern about the supposed biolabs. Chinese news agencies will use that to write about how South Africans are worried, thus manufacturing a 'story' out of nothing at all."[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "South of the Sahara". Stanford University. Archived from the original on 12 February 2009. Retrieved 23 February 2009.
  2. ^ Sam Sole and Craig McKune (28 August 2014). "What's black and white and in the red all over?". Mail & Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 October 2019. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  3. ^ "CITVC Signs Partnership Deal With NATPE". National Association of Television Program Executives. Archived from the original on 6 May 2022. Retrieved 9 July 2022.
  4. ^ Pike, Lili (18 May 2022). "How China uses global media to spread its views — and misinformation". Grid. Archived from the original on 23 June 2022. Retrieved 29 May 2022.
  5. ^ a b "China Uses Training, Media Ownership to Shape Africa's News Landscape". Africa Defense Forum. 25 January 2022. Archived from the original on 7 July 2022. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  6. ^ "Coercion, Capture, and Censorship: Case Studies on the CCP's Quest for Global Influence". International Republican Institute. 28 September 2022. Retrieved 29 September 2022.
  7. ^ "About IOL". IOL. Independent Online. IOL. Archived from the original on 5 July 2022. Retrieved 7 July 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  8. ^ "South Africa: Journalist loses column after publishing an article critical of China". Reporters Without Borders. 18 September 2018. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  9. ^ Joseph, Natasha (April 2021). "A new world order". Index on Censorship. 50 (1): 70–71. doi:10.1177/03064220211012307. ISSN 0306-4220.
  10. ^ "How Russia is trying to win over the global south". The Economist. 22 September 2022. ISSN 0013-0613. Archived from the original on 24 September 2022. Retrieved 25 September 2022.

External linksEdit