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'This is not a chapter in our media history we should be proud of’

The South African National Editors' Forum has reacted to the closure of Afro Worldview, which was taken off air by MultiChoice on Monday.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) has reacted to the closure of Afro Worldview, saying once again young black journalists have been left stranded in a hostile job-seeking environment.

The channel, formerly known as Gupta-linked ANN7, was taken off air by MultiChoice on Monday.

“Finally, as we stated when Afro Voice closed, journalists have been at the harsh receiving end of the paper’s chequered history and the wheeling and dealing of its owners and management – and this is also true for Afro World View.

“ANN7’s previous and present owners and also MultiChoice have not distinguished themselves in the handling of this unfolding saga. This is not a chapter in our media history we should be proud of,” a Sanef statement reads.

Sanef says it hopes MultiChoice will uphold its promise to bring in new black voices when it makes its final decision on companies to replace Afro Worldview.

“Sanef believes we need credible channels to add to the diversity of the media landscape and the growth of our democracy. MultiChoice says it will announce the successful bidder on 28 August. We look forward to this announcement.”

It says South Africa needs credible channels to add to the diversity of the media landscape and growth of democracy.

Th editors’ forum says it notes the television channel, as was the case with Afro Voice, has been dogged by controversy. The newspaper was launched in 2010 and the channel came later in 2013. Both were owned by the controversial Gupta family, a family with close political and business ties to former President Jacob Zuma.

Businessman and ex-government spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi then bought the channel and newspaper from the family last year and attempted to distance both media operations from their past.

REACTION

The Communications Workers Union (CWU) said it was disappointed with the decision to cut ties with the channel.

CWU secretary-general Aubrey Tshabalala told the Business Day that they were not happy with the way MultiChoice management handled the matter.

As things stand, channel 405 remains blocked.

Afro Worldview, however, is still being broadcast live on its YouTube channel.

Additional reporting by Leeto M Khoza.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)