Crazy stuff at the Guptas' and Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi's television news station ANN7 on Wednesday morning! Manyi, who famously bought the station from President Jacob Zuma's best friends recently, refused to provide details of the shareholding of his company, Lodidox, when requested to do so by journalists. Lodidox, a shelf company, bought ANN7 from the Gutpas in a complicated vendor financing deal.
On Wednesday he held a press conference in Midrand, live on air and broadcast by ANN7, in which he invited the media to inspect his company's documents.
— Pauli Van Wyk (@PaulivW) August 30, 2017
#Manyi who bought ANN7 & New Age is holding briefing live on tv.— Gia Nicolaides (@GiaNicolaides) August 30, 2017
Manyi -- who regularly appears as an analyst on ANN7's news broadcasts -- read a statement in which he alleged that he was being vilified and that he could not get any financing for the purchase of ANN7.
#Manyi says he didn't invent vendor financing. This is how he bought the Media houses.— Gia Nicolaides (@GiaNicolaides) August 30, 2017
ANN7 is thriving, Many explained and that it is making a profit. He has big plans for his new venture.
#Manyi says there's Renewed confidence at the Media house.— Gia Nicolaides (@GiaNicolaides) August 30, 2017
But then things got crazy. Manyi invited Pauli van Wyk (Daily Maverick) and Philip de Wet (Mail&Guardian) to the set to go and inspect the documents live on air. He loved it.
Van Wyk and De Wet looked through the documents, trying to figure out whether or not its legit. Under pressure, on live TV and in the glaring lights of ANN7 spotlights.
Live, from the guest desk at ANN7: hello mom!— Phillip de Wet (@phillipdewet) August 30, 2017
Manyi bought a shelf company, of which he is now the sole shareholder. No sign of other activity.— Phillip de Wet (@phillipdewet) August 30, 2017
But of course Manyi is treating the key issue — the terms of his "financing" from the Gupta family — as something to be dealt with later.— Phillip de Wet (@phillipdewet) August 30, 2017
Still, full marks to @MzwaneleManyi for creating a distracting spectacle featuring the legal minimum of transparency.— Phillip de Wet (@phillipdewet) August 30, 2017
Manyi denied that the Guptas have any influence on decisions at ANN7 and that he is now the sole boss at the news station.
Spectacular show put on by Manyi, tackling his critics on live on channel 405 . . . and then the journalists -- being no shrinking violets -- standing their ground. The channel, unapologetic about their support of the Guptas, #RadicalEconomicTransformation and vocal opponents of all that might be #WhiteMonopolyCapital, will be one to watch under Manyi's editorial direction.
Maybe he can launch a weekly segment where he tackles his detractors and critics? Van Wyk and De Wet might even become regular fixtures in ANN7's "state of the art studio", as Manyi described it.
But the abiding memory of the morning of madness in Midrand?
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Manyi's laugh. It's just. Oh my. The laugh.— Marc Davies (@MarcDDavies) August 30, 2017