Cape Town – The Progressive Professionals Forum (PPF) says the sale of Gupta-owned ANN7 and The New Age newspaper to its president Mzwanele Manyi will bring a patriotic and progressive voice to South Africa.
Fin24 reported earlier on Monday that Manyi’s firm Lodidox bought the Gupta-owned media units ANN7 (Infinity Media) for R300m and The New Age (TNA Media) for R150m.
The agreement is expected to be concluded over the next few weeks, subject to any regulatory requirements, Oakbay said in a statement.
The deal will be concluded by means of vendor financing, which means Manyi got a loan from the Guptas to buy the firms and will have to pay them back with interest over time.
The sale comes as the Bank of Baroda pulled the plug on Gupta-owned firms, and after South Africa’s top four banks blacklisted the group’s accounts in 2016.
“The PPF wishes to join the majority of well-meaning and progressive South Africans in congratulating Mr Manyi in his acquisition of the ANN7 TV station and New Age newspaper,” the organisation said in a statement on Monday.
“As a progressive and patriotic voice in the media landscape, we have no doubt that all progressive professionals, organisations and South Africans in general, will support this new venture so that the story of ‘hunting’ is not only told from the perspective of the hunter but also from the side of the hunted.”
The organisation added that South Africa needs “voices” that will build unity and patriotism and support for the South African government “as is done in other nations globally”.
“With Mzwanele Manyi at the head of ANN7 we are fully confident that these voices will be heard,” the PPF said.
ANN7 and The New Age newspaper are perceived to be propaganda mouthpieces for President Jacob Zuma and his supporters in government and state-owned enterprises.
The New Age Newspaper has also hosted a number of government-sponsored “business breakfasts” over the years, featuring Cabinet Ministers and state-owned entities’ management.
In June this year, the Department of Communications acknowledged that it spent close to R1m on a single breakfast business briefing sponsored by The New Age on SABC in 2016.
Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo said in a parliamentary written reply on Tuesday that her department “spent R958 689.84 on a business briefing held on 26 May 2016, which was organised by the newspaper in question”.
The payment was made when Faith Muthambi was still at the helm of the department.
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