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South African newspaper closes Indian supplement after 3 decades

 Sunday Times, the largest newspaper in South Africa, stopped publication of 'Extra', a supplement targeting the Indian community, citing financial and ideological concerns.



Johannesburg: Sunday Times, the largest newspaper in South Africa, stopped publication of 'Extra', a supplement targeting the Indian community, citing financial and ideological concerns.
Sunday Times Extra had been a favourite of tens of thousands for more than three decades.

"Announcing the end of a section of our newspaper is no easy task. The Extra has, for decades, been plagued by many concerns and challenges - financially and ideologically," Sunday Times Editor Phylicia Oppelt, wrote.

"The Extra has remained an anomaly in all of this - a racially defined product catering for Indian readers. Since 1994, we have made other similar products obsolete, an edition catering for African readers, another aimed at coloured (mixed race) readers," she said.

Oppelt said readers who enjoyed the Extra were no less important than those who favoured other sections of the newspaper and would be catered for in several features as an integral part of editorial coverage, rather than a special supplement.

An earlier shutdown in 1994 was quickly reversed after a public outcry as the publishers sought to move away from "ethnic" publications with the advent of the first democratic elections that saw anti-apartheid politician Nelson Mandela becoming President after decades of white minority apartheid rule.

Oppelt said the Sunday Times had introduced various supplements in the paper to cater to lifestyle, fashion, food and travel, which had an appeal across all racial groups.

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