ANN7 owner demands R144 million from SABC

Mzwanele Manyi, who bought ANN7 and The New Age from the Gupta family, is demanding R144 million from the SABC.

According to a report by the Sunday Times, Manyi said the money is owed to the Guptas for business breakfast shows they held with the public broadcaster.

The report stated that Manyi has entered arbitration proceedings on the matter, as he has “suffered damages” amounting to R144 million.

The business breakfasts hosted by the SABC and The New Age were the centre of much controversy when they were hosted, and took place amid accusations of state capture and payoffs to the Gupta family by state-owned enterprises.

A deal between the SABC and The New Age saw the broadcaster pay R1 million per breakfast briefing.

“The Guptas were also paid sponsorship fees by state-owned companies like Eskom, Transnet, and Telkom for the shows,” stated the report.

Around R20 million was spent by the SABC on the business breakfasts before the deal was cancelled, and investigations into misspending at the broadcaster began.

Illegal move

Manyi has now claimed that the SABC cancelled the deal illegally, stated the Sunday Times.

Manyi declined to comment on the matter, however, and stated that he does not want his “name dragged into The New Age and ANN7 issues that happened before my time”.

The SABC has filed papers in the High Court in Johannesburg to interdict the arbitration proceedings.

“The public broadcaster conceded that its deal with TNA is illegal, adding that Manyi doesn’t deserve a cent,” stated the report.

The move comes after The New Age and ANN7 rebranded in April 2018, to Afro Worldview and Afro Voice respectively.

Afro Worldview is also participating in a bidding process for the proposed new black-owned news channel on MultiChoice’s DStv platform.

Now read: It is scary how much less traditional TV viewing is happening – MultiChoice

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ANN7 owner demands R144 million from SABC