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Manyi: No holy cows for ANN7, 'The New Age'

Manyi says despite what is being said about the Gupta’s the high court ruling last week gave him confidence that he made the right decision.

FILE: Mzwanele Manyi. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Former government spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi says there’s no intention to get rid of anyone at ANN7 or The New Age now that he’s the new owner, saying that they will tell the news as it is.

Manyi’s company Lodidox has bought the two media agencies for R450 million through vendor financing.

Gupta owned Oakbay Investments says the sale is part of its commitment to preserve jobs and provide certainty to more than 7,500 employees.

Manyi says that despite what is being said about the Guptas, the High Court ruling last week gave him confidence that he made the right decision.

"I myself was waiting to hear about the so-called 72 suspicious transactions and I’m quite happy that the decision by a full bench came out and dismissed Pravin Gordhan’s case."

Manyi says the TV channel and newspaper will be reporting the truth.

"It’s going to be a model agency. This is a media house where the truth gets told, this is a media house where there are no holy cows.'

And he says there’s no agenda to get rid of current employees, saying that he will be looking for new talent and expanding the media houses in the country and across the continent.

NO SURPRISES

Manyi says he battled to get financing to purchase ANN7 and The New Age and therefore agreed with Oakbay to buy the media companies through vendor financing, meaning he will pay them back after presenting what he calls an aggressive business plan.

He says he takes offence to the notion that this is a front.

“Purely because I’m going into business, am I a criminal? Fronting is a crime and it’s also a racist mindset that when a black person is making it therefore immediately what comes into mind is that they must have stolen things.”

Manyi’s company Lodidox is registered at a small home in Soweto.

“The house in Soweto in Meadowlands is where I was born and bred. We converted that house into a business, it’s part of decolonising the mindset just to say that not everything must happen in Sandton.”

He battled to get financing and entered into an agreement to pay back the Gupta-owned company.

“As a transformation activist, I’ll be calling for more companies to do things this way because if you do it this way, a lot more transformation will happen at a far quicker pace. Nobody has got the bent wiz (sic) to spend two years trying to find funding.”

At the same time, Manyi says the media companies will be reporting objectively and will not shy away from reporting on the Guptas.

Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters says it rejects the sale of ANN7 and The New Age newspaper, saying it will continue to boycott what remains a Gupta media company.

The party says that the Guptas are abusing efforts to advance transformation in the media with the pursuit of dishonest deals intended to take money from the state.

It has subsequently called on South Africans to stop watching ANN7 or buying The New Age newspaper.