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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Manyi offers to ‘rehabilitate’ Justice Malala and double his salary

The new owner of ANN7 reckons he can entice seasoned journalists to come and work for him.


Speaking in his first major interview following the news that he had bought ANN7 and The New Age from the Guptas, Mzwanele Manyi was a man in high spirits.

On eNCA’s The Justice Factor on Monday night, he told show host Justice Malala that he had big plans as a newly minted media baron.

He said he would be taking both the 24-hour news channel and the daily broadsheet newspaper to new heights and much greater profitability. Manyi also said they would be looking to recruit new and upcoming talent as well as lure big names in the media industry.

Half-jokingly, he told the outspoken President Jacob Zuma critic, Malala, that he was also welcome to join him and Manyi would pay him double the salary he was earning at eNCA.

Malala simply laughed at this.

“You can be rehabilitated,” joked Manyi.

The deal to buy the companies has been criticised as a possible front set up by the Guptas to continue operating their media empire in South Africa in the wake of no banks wanting to service them.

Manyi has denied he is merely acting as a front.

In a statement released on Monday morning, the Guptas’ Oakbay Investments confirmed that Manyi’s Lodidox apparently paid R300 million for ANN7 and R150 million for The New Age newspaper.

Manyi has long been accused of working with the Guptas, particularly in promoting the notion of “white monopoly capital”. He has also allegedly received funding from the family for entities he is involved with.

The Guptas and their companies have struggled to do business in South Africa after all local banks refused to do business with them and even the Indian Bank of Baroda announced it would no longer bank the family’s companies.

Oakbay’s acting CEO Ronica Ragevan said the fact that the media companies had a new majority shareholder would give Oakbay time to “focus on clearing its name in the face of unfounded media allegations”.

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Lodidox and the management team; the sale of our shareholdings will secure the future of these businesses and help preserve the jobs of their employees,” said Ragevan.

“Both businesses are inherently sound and well positioned for growth in their respective market segments.  We wish them every success in the future.”

Manyi said: “I am delighted to have reached agreement with Oakbay and look forward to successfully completing the deal.

“These are two strong businesses which are full of potential and, under the right external circumstances, can become an increasingly important and relevant part of the South African media landscape.

“In addition, I am particularly impressed that the shareholders of Oakbay have agreed to do a vendor financing at acceptable terms as part of their commitment to transformation and to expedite the transaction.”

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