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Former employee lifts lid on Jacob Zuma's role at ANN7

The details are revealed in a book by Rajesh Sundaram, the channel’s first editor.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma (centre) seen with Atul Gupta (left) and Malusi Gigaba (right). Picture: GCIS

PRETORIA - A former ANN7 employee has spoken out about former president Jacob Zuma’s role in the controversial television channel.

The details are revealed in a book by Rajesh Sundaram, the channel’s first editor.

Sundaram claims that the name Africa News Network was in fact chosen by Zuma.

He says he was even called to brief Zuma on the values of the newly launched news channel.

Sundaram says the the Guptas told the editorial team that they should make the former president feel important and seek suggestions from him on how to run the channel.

However, they were apparently told to keep the influence subtle and not become an outright publicity channel for Zuma and the African National Congress (ANC).

Sundaram says that Zuma’s influence extended as far as recommending the appointment of key staff members, such as Mzwanele Manyi.