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ANN7 editorial meetings hijacked, with Zuma giving input, Zondo inquiry told

Former ANN7 news editor Rajesh Sundaram said that Jacob Zuma was clear about what should guide the news channel's editorial policy.

A screengrab of former ANN7 editor Rajesh Sundaram appearing at the state capture inquiry on 3 June 2019.

JOHANNESBURG – Former ANN7 news editor Rajesh Sundaram has revealed how editorial meetings at the station were hijacked, with former President Jacob Zuma giving his input.

Sundaram testified at the state capture commission on Monday where he revealed Zuma was involved in expediting the visa applications for Indian nationals who were recruited to start up the channel.

He also told the inquiry the former president was more involved in the day-to-day running of the now defunct station than his son, who was one of the shareholders of the company that owned ANN7.

Sundaram said that Jacob Zuma was clear about what should guide ANN7’s editorial policy.

“He wanted it to have the resemblance of credibility; so, he said the pushing of the agenda should be subtle.”

He said that even normal newsroom diary meetings were hijacked.

“Most of the time I found that the editorial meeting was hijacked by Nazeem [Howa].”

Sundaram has told the commission he soon realised he had no decision making authority and that’s why he eventually left the channel.

WATCH: ANN7 editor details Zuma’s involvement in the channel