A prominent U.S. energy company is taking legal action against a South African newspaper it accuses of defamation and fake news.

Symbion Power, an American power sector firm in the electricity generation, transmission and distribution industry with an established presence throughout sub-Saharan Africa, took issue with an article about them in the South African online paper The Daily Maverick, which they claim is defamatory and misleading. 

In particular, Symbion Power denies the article’s claims that they are being sued in a New York court and have ties to controversial Durban businessman Vivian Reddy, along with a number of other supposedly false and defamatory statements.

In a statement issued to media, Symbion Power promised to “initiate legal action and pursue financial damages” in what will be publically available court filings.

Their full statement can be read here:

“On May 8, 2022 The Daily Maverick, a South African internet magazine that is “the source of news, opinion and investigations” running under the banner “Defend Truth” published a defamatory and misleading article with the headline “US firm Symbion, once associated with Durban’s Vivian Reddy family, sued in New York court.” Without ever attempting to contact Symbion or its executives (and falsely saying that it did) the article regurgitates a series of statements which are false in a New York proceeding that Maverick falsely calls a “lawsuit.” In fact, the proceeding in New York is a procedure to obtain documents and information only, but appears to be a thinly disguised attempt to injure Symbion by a former business associate, Zouzar Bouka, who is entangled in a confidential arbitration that Symbion initiated against him. In fact, contrary to the false statements in the Daily Maverick article, Symbion has never had any business with Reddy.

Symbion does not intend to rebut each and every false and defamatory statement in a press release and will instead initiate legal action and pursue financial damages. These court filings will be publicly available. “

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