The new owner of ANN7 and The New Age, Mzwanele Manyi, has challenged his political detractors to visit his new empire. This after Save SA and the Democratic Alliance (DA) last week accused Manyi of being a proxy for President Jacob Zuma’s faction in the ANC.
Last week, DA MP Phumzile van Damme told Fin24 the party was concerned about the nature of Manyi’s new acquisition. She said it was a “complete and utter ANC hack”.
Manyi said he had written letters last week to DA federal chair James Selfe, inviting the party to the ANN7 offices.
“I want to explain to them, because they all seem to be confused about what vendor financing is. A lot of people did not know this concept until I came and made it popular. […] So I just want to explain to them. I will even give them a copy of the Companies Act,” he said.
The Gupta family’s Oakbay Investments announced last Monday that, through a R450 million vendor financing deal, Manyi’s company, Lodidox, had bought their media entities.
Manyi said the deal also included operational costs for both entities.
“I will also be saying to them that if they had any apprehension that the station is against them, that apprehension must end here. I want to give them assurance that if they want to come here to the station to say whatever they want to say, they must come. My doors are open to anyone that wants to come.
“This is not a place for a particular faction of any organisation, it is a place for anybody that wants to talk about anything,” Manyi said.
Manyi also took the opportunity to deny that his speaking out against “white monopoly capital” was related to PR company Bell Pottinger and the allegations that the term was used as part of Gupta-funded propaganda.
“I have been more into corporate transformation than into the political space, so the reason I am into the white monopoly capital conversation is not Bell Pottinger.
“I started this thing as a corporate transformation activist in the BMF [Black Management Forum] space, for my main focus has largely been the transformation of the corporate environment. The politics, I thought they belonged to other people. […] Mainly my focus has been transformation, particularly in the private sector.”