23/02/2018 05:24 SAST | Updated 23/02/2018 05:24 SAST

ANN7 Offices Subject To 'Routine Inspection' By Immigration Officials

Staff members say they “have never seen something like that before”.

Gallo Images / The Times / Alon Skuy
The New Age and ANN7 proprietor Mzwanele Manyi during the announcement on the shareholding of his company Lodidox on August 30, 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Home Affairs and immigration officials visited the offices of the embattled ANN7 channel on Thursday afternoon for a "routine inspection".

Earlier this year, MultiChoice announced it would not be renewing its license with the channel, after it was bought by Mzwanele Manyi from the Gupta family's company Oakbay.

Home Affairs spokesperson Thabo Mokgola said it was part of the department's mandate to undertake regular inspections.

"As part of its mandate, the inspectorate directorate of the department undertakes regular inspections on the basis of information provided to them, which information would demand a thorough investigation including in loco inspections," he said.

"In this regard, our officials visited ANN7 Studios to verify information related to visas of certain individuals employed by the organisation," Mokgola said.

One employee at ANN7 told News24 immigration officers came for staff members recruited from India.

"The office was filled with immigration officers. I have never seen something like that before. The employees that were recruited from India were taken into an office, and they looked nervous. We don't know what's happening," he said.

"I am not sure how many staff members we have from India but it's a lot," the employee said.

"When I saw immigration I was rejoicing," he added.

Another employee said he was about to leave when he saw immigration officers on the premises.

"I just saw some immigration officers inside a certain room where we host our guests. It was about four of them that I saw," he said.

Manyi did not immediately answer his phone for comments.

-- News24