MultiChoice to replace Mzwanele Manyi’s Afro Worldview with black-owned channel
Afro Worldview, formerly the Gupta-owned ANN7, has stopped airing, and a replacement will be announced within a week
MultiChoice says it will reveal the successful bidder to replace Afro Worldview on August 28.
The television channel‚ previously known as the Gupta-owned ANN7‚ stopped airing at midnight on Monday.
“MultiChoice announced that it would source a new black-owned news channel and invited interested parties to bid‚” the company said on Tuesday.
MultiChoice spokesperson Kenneth Nxumalo confirmed the company would pull the plug on the channel that started in 2013‚ just hours after staff members were informed not to report for duty on Tuesday.
Trade union Communications Workers Union (CWU) secretary-general Aubrey Tshabalala said they were disappointed by how management had handled the channel’s demise.
"Management should be upfront with workers to say what will happen if they are cut off from midnight tonight (Monday). Are workers going to stay at home? What will happen to their salaries? Those are the things that we felt that management was not upfront with them [about]."
MultiChoice spokesperson Kenneth Nxumalo confirmed on Monday that MultiChoice would pull the plug at midnight on Monday on the channel that started in 2013.
"Our contract with Afro Worldview comes to an end today. We will provide an update about the Afro Worldview channel by end of day today."
It remains unclear what will take its place on channel 405.
Afrotone Media Holdings chairperson Mzwanele Manyi‚ who owns Afro Worldview‚ said on Monday evening: "I am not talking to media on Afro Worldview business on any issue whatsoever."
On Monday‚ Manyi tweeted a photograph of the staff and said: "Dear South Africa‚ Please put this innocent team of Bread Winners in your prayers. They NEED their jobs."
Tshabalala said they were in negotiations with MultiChoice, which agreed the new licensee would absorb the current employees.
"Here we are not talking about executive people who have a lot in their coffers. We are talking about working people who rely on their monthly salary‚ so a day or two without a salary is disastrous."
Manyi said last month that Afro Worldview’s association with the Gupta family had created an unshakeable perception that it was an integral part of "state capture"‚ leading to the collapse of Afro Voice newspaper.
He made this submission in an application in the North Gauteng High Court to place the company under provisional liquidation.
Afrotone bought TNA Media from Gupta-owned company Oakbay Investments in August 2017. Afro Voice was previously known as The New Age and published its last edition on June 29.