Afro Worldview (previously ANN7, African News Network 7) was a 24-hour satellite TV news channel that operated from August 2013 to August 2018 in South Africa. It was established and owned by the Gupta family. The channel was broadcast on the DStv satellite television service owned by Multichoice. The channel's launch in August 2013 was initially met with public mockery when numerous technical issues and mistakes made by untrained presenters went viral online. In 2017, the channel was sold to Afrotone Media Holdings, a holding company owned by former Tiger Brands group executive Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi in 2017. The channel was renamed to Afro Worldview, and ceased operation a few months later in August 2018 when DStv did not renew its contract.
|Closed||20 August 2018|
|Network||DSTV Afro Worldview|
|Owned by||Mzwanele Manyi, Atul Gupta, Ajay Gupta|
|Picture format||16:9 (576i, SDTV)|
|Broadcast area||South Africa|
|Headquarters||Midrand, South Africa|
|Formerly called||African News Network 7|
Prior to August 2017, ANN7 was primarily controlled by Infinity Media Networks which was owned jointly by Essel Media (35%), Oakbay Investments, the Gupta family’s investment vehicle (35%), Mabengela Investments (21%). Mabengela Investments is a Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment company of which Duduzane Zuma holds a 45% stake, with other shareholders including Rajesh Kumar Gupta (25%), Aerohaven Trading (15%), Fidelity Investments (10%), Mfazi Investments (3%) and Ashu Chawla (2%). In August 2017, ANN7 and The New Age were sold to Mzwanele Manyi.
Programming provided by ANN7 includes news segments, sports highlights, political and news-based talk-shows with round-table discussions, nationwide weather reports, and lifestyle, entertainment and special interest news
The ANN7 studios, operating out of their purpose-built Midrand studios, employed a team of 76 journalists. According to its website, Africa News Network 7 (ANN7) focused on "constructive, nation-building stories in the interests of building a culture of unity and pride."
Accusations of propagandaEdit
In March 2017, during the run-up to President Jacob Zuma's firing of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan — who had previously actively resisted the pro-Zuma Gupta family's continued and repeated attempts at state capture of the Treasury, Eskom and other state-owned companies — ANN7 ran repeated and aggressive propaganda campaigns to discredit the minister, often using incomplete or fabricated evidence. The channel was fiercely criticised for spreading partial, biased and fake news in a bid to undermine the Finance Minister, and paint the President in a more favourable light.
The international news broadcaster Al Jazeera English reported that Zuma's close relationship with the Guptas has "translated into friendly coverage in the outlets they own," such as ANN7 and The New Age newspaper.
During the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture in June 2019 former ANN7 editor, Rajesh Sundara, testified that then president Jacob Zuma was actively involved in running the station and dictating its content and message.
Coverage of the 2016 Gupta family controversyEdit
- Gwede Mantashe, ANC secretary general
In March 2016 ANN7, along with the Gupta-owned newspaper The New Age, was strongly criticised by the African National Congress (ANC) for its coverage of President Jacob Zuma's relationship with the Gupta family and the ensuing political controversy around the issue. The broadcaster along with The New Age apologised for its coverage shortly after the ANC's criticism was stated.
- "Gupta Channel goes Live". Business Day Live. Retrieved 27 August 2013.
- "The Gupta goofs: ANN7 news channel fumbles through launch". Times Live. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- Reporter, Staff. "Guptas sell The New Age and ANN7 to Mzwanele Manyi for R450m". The M&G Online. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
- "Manyi reveals he's sole shareholder of firm that bought ANN7, New Age". Fin24. Retrieved 2017-10-09.
- Nicolaides, Gia (31 January 2018). "Multichoice: ANN7 to be taken off DStv". Eyewitness News.
- Lekabe, Thapelo. "Gordhan slams Gupta-owned ANN7". The Citizen. www.citizen.co.za. Retrieved 2 April 2017.
- Jacob Zuma's friends and foes in South Africa's media - The Listening Post (Feature) (Video). 0:40: Al Jazeera: English. 20 March 2016.CS1 maint: location (link)
- "Zuma had hands-on role in running of ANN7, inquiry hears". News24. 2019-06-03. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
- Bezuidenhout, Jessica. "Days of Zondo: Gupta TV editor exposes dodgy visa and hush-hush meetings with Zuma". Daily Maverick. Retrieved 2019-06-03.
- Mantashe, Gwede (20 March 2016). "ANC statement following the National Executive Committee Meeting held 18-20 March 2016". African National Congress. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
- "Gupta media to say sorry to ANC". Tech Central. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 26 March 2016.