Home Affairs raids ANN7 TV studios
A government department yesterday swooped on a troubled television news broadcasting channel which was owned by former president Jacob Zuma's controversial friends, the Guptas.
The raid on ANN7 studios in Midrand, Johannesburg, apparently came after a tip-off that some employees, who hail from India, were using expired working permits.
Sowetan last night spoke to three employees who confirmed the raid.
Department of Home Affairs spokesman Thabo Mokgola refused to comment further about the raid when contacted last night and referred Sowetan to the statement the department released earlier confirming the raid.
"The Department of Home Affairs wishes to confirm a routine inspection that was undertaken at the ANN7 studios in Midrand, Johannesburg," read the statement.
"As part of its [the department's] 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.
"In this regard, our officials visited the ANN7 studios to verify information related to visas of certain individuals employed by the organisation.
"Once verified, the department will release the findings of the inspection."
The Gupta-owned Oakbay sold ANN7, a 24-hour news channel flighted on DSTV channel 405, and its sister publication The New Age, to black economic empowerment activist and staunch Zuma supporter Mzwanele Manyi for R450-million in August.
However, the transaction hit a snag when MultiChoice last month announced plans to pull the channel off air once the contract ends on August 20 this year.
When contacted for comment last night, Manyi requested that he be sent a text message.
But, Manyi had not responded at the time of going to print.
An employee, who asked not to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media, said the raid took place in the afternoon.