A new book claims former president Jacob Zuma held lengthy meetings with the Guptas and ANN7 managers to brief them on its editorial policy‚ who they should hire and how they should make him look good – but that it shouldn’t be too obvious.
This is one of many startling statements Indian journalist Rajesh Sundaram makes in his explosive book about how he was hired to lead the team that would launch the 24-hour news channel.
He writes that Zuma had a direct hand in appointing presenters on Gupta news channel ANN7‚ including insisting that former government spokesman Mzwanele “Jimmy” Manyi was hired.
Manyi laughed off the claims in a WhatsApp message to Times Select. “Where do people dream up such?” he asked‚ without making any further comment.
But according to the author‚ Zuma’s hand was so influential that senior staffers at the channel were told that “President Zuma will have it no other way” than that Manyi – who now owns the station – was on air.
For more on this story‚ please visit Times Select.