Lonrho to work with ANC on new paper: Trelford tipped to manage new daily

TINY ROWLAND, the chief executive of Lonrho publishers of the Observer, says that his company is planning to set up a new South African newspaper in co-operation with the African National Congress and that the outgoing Observer editor, Donald Trelford, would run the paper.

Mr Rowland made the announcement during a news conference on Friday at Mooinooi in the western Transvaal for the naming of a new pounds 30m mine shaft at Western Platinum in his honour. The South African daily Business Day yesterday quoted Mr Rowland as saying that the new newspaper would be similar to the Mail on Sunday.

Since the ANC leadership returned from exile in 1990, its leaders have been looking to set up a paper. The ANC has a monthly magazine called Mayibue. But there is a sharp debate within the organisation about the merits of a newspaper. Many who oppose the idea argue that a newspaper would be expensive, with no promise of success. They say the ANC should be devoting its resources to radio and broadcasting because that is what the majority of people relate to.

An ANC spokesman, Carl Neihaus, yesterday denied that the Congress would have any direct financial or editorial interest in the new paper, which he said would be published daily and would be set up 'as soon as possible, certainly before the election'. The multi-party negotiation forum has said that South Africa's first multi-racial general elections should be held before May 1994. The poll date was expected to be set by early June.

Mr Neihaus said the ANC had contacted Mr Rowland and the millionaire Nigerian presidential candidate, Chief Mashood Abiola, publisher of the Concord group, in an effort to interest them in financing an independent newspaper. 'The ANC would have neither editorial control nor financial interest in the paper,' he said. 'The ANC is not going to put any of our money into the new paper.'

Mr Trelford, who edited the Nyasaland Times in Malawi between 1963 and 1966, said in a telephone interview from London that while he was 'aware of the project' and Mr Rowland had asked him to be involved in Lonrho's overseas media operations, he could not confirm his appointment as the new paper's editor.

'I am up to my ears in handing over the Observer,' he said. 'I have no plans and no clear idea what I'll be doing.'

Mr Trelford, who has edited the Observer since January 1976, will hand over to Jonathan Fenby, deputy editor of the Guardian, in August. The Guardian's parent company, the Guardian and Manchester Evening News Group, bought the Observer from Lonrho last month. The ANC's Director of Information and Publicity, Pallo Jordan, recently visited the Observer in London to get ideas for a newspaper, said Mr Trelford.

Despite strong informal links with the press in Africa, the only newpaper Mr Rowland now owns is The Standard in Kenya. Lonrho's holding in a newspaper in Tanzania was nationalised and the Times of Zambia was sold to the government there.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk