Workers at the Midrand-based TV news station ANN7 have as of midday today not been paid their February salaries by the Mzwanele Manyi-owned Lodidox.
Sources who tipped off The Citizen about this development said while they were not completely surprised by the company’s failure to process their payments, they were shocked that Manyi, or anyone in management at Lodidox, had not bothered to address their concerns.
“No communication, nothing. As we speak, the majority of the cameramen have downed tools and are congregated in the parking lot. There are those who are too scared to lose their jobs and they have continued working,” said one employee.
On Sunday, there were several media reports that members of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) at Koornfontein coalmine were protesting, saying management promised to pay them on Sunday morning after failing to pay them on Friday, but so far no one had received their salary.
ANN7 is technically not a Gupta-owned company, but the vendor finance model used by Manyi to acquire the media assets ties him to the Gupta family.
Efforts to contact Manyi proved fruitless as his phone rang unanswered. Abhinav Sahel, the news editor for the station, referred The Citizen to Gary Naidoo, who he described as a “senior general manager for the company”. Naidoo’s phone was answered by an assistant who explained he was currently in a meeting and requested that questions be sent to him in writing.
Meanwhile, Fin24 is reporting that business rescue practitioners appointed to oversee several beleaguered Gupta-linked companies have outlined their plans for the assets of the companies involved. The plans include securing funds from existing debtors and disposing of assets.
The publication based its information on a press release that announced today that Johan Louis Klopper and Kurt Rupert Knoop have been appointed as the business rescue practitioners. In the middle of February, eight Gupta-linked companies reportedly resolved to appoint the two to several Gupta companies that filed for business rescue.
The companies were listed as Tegeta Resources, Optimum Coal Mine and Shiva Uranium. It was also stated that two of the Guptas’ asset-holding companies, Confident Concepts and Islandsite Investments, have also filed for business rescue.