SOUTH Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper has issued a new Zimbabwean publication, Business Times, with an ultimatum to change its name or face legal action.

Lawyers for the Sunday Times flew into Harare last week for talks with AB Communications, the publishers of Business Times.

The Sunday Times has an insert called Business Times, and Times Media Group, its publishers, have taken exception to the Zimbabweans’ use of the name.

The South Africans are concerned about the name confusion because they are publishing a Zimbabwean edition. They say prior to launching their publication, executives from the new paper went to Johannesburg and were granted a tour of The Sunday Times.

“There’s anger in Johannesburg that after being very helpful to AB Communications, the Zimbabweans went away, taking with them the name of a Sunday Times brand,” a source familiar with the development told

Times Media Group gave The Business Times until July 20 to change its name or face a lawsuit. The South Africans would accept a compromise which could see ‘Zimbabwe’ being inserted to the Business Times logo, although their preference would be a completely different name.

“AB Communications said it would refer the matter to the board and advice Times Media Group about the outcome,” the source added.

Business Times launched in Harare on July 5 with Happiness Zenenga becoming its first editor. She was previously editor of the Zimpapers-owned Business Weekly, which was launched a year earlier.