It was announced in August 2017 that Gupta-owned South African media houses, ANN7 and The New Age, had been sold by the controversial family to a firm owned by former government spokesman Mzwanele Manyi.
Oakbay Investments, a Gupta-owned company, said in a statement that Manyi-owned Lodidox bought ANN7 (Infinity Media) for R300m and The New Age (TNA Media) for R150m. The company added that the deal is expected to be finalised in the next few weeks as it remains subject to regulatory requirements.
“The sale is part of Oakbay’s commitment to preserve jobs and provide certainty to over 7 500 hard-working employees throughout the group and to safeguard the inherent value of the businesses in which they work. Under a new majority shareholder, Oakbay believes that both businesses and their employees will have the bright and prosperous future they deserve. The sale will also allow the shareholder the time to focus on clearing its name in the face of unfounded media allegations,” the firm said.
Manyi speaking on the sale said: “I am delighted to have reached an agreement with Oakbay and look forward to successfully completing the deal.
“These are two strong businesses which are full of potential and, under the right external circumstances, can become an increasingly important and relevant part of the South African media landscape,” concluded Manyi.
This is the latest in a long line of Gupta stories to hit the South African press. There have been numerous allegations of state capture and corruption, which included kick back scandals involving tech companies Software AG and SAP, levelled at the Guptas following the controversial Gupta Leaks, a series of emails between the family and supposed business partners across South Africa. The leaks, although uncorroborated, have placed the family firmly in the spotlight of the South African media and the public.
After the sale of the two companies, South Africans took to Twitter to express their thoughts on the matter.
Here are some of the best reactions:
— Lusso?????️ (@1st_Vince) August 21, 2017
Manyi is just a captain on a Gupta owned Ship..
— M.A.S.? (@teaz4feaz) August 21, 2017
Jimmy Manyi of the Gupta's pulls the race card and gets emotional on SABC news! pic.twitter.com/m8Vz5bBUCg
— Xolile Japie (@XolileJapie) August 21, 2017
Mzwanele Manyi buying the Gupta companies so as to re-establish banking relationships on their behalf.
— George Kiblor (@Kiblor) August 21, 2017
Yes. It's a scheme to get a bank account and keep Zupta's propaganda machine running. A loan from Gupta offshore co. will also export cash.
— Sam Sole (@SamSoleZA) August 21, 2017
Atul Gupta will still be calling the shots at ANN7 & TNA despite selling to Manyi Like how Zuma will be in charge if NDZ gets elected
— Ntobeko°©• III (@MweliNtobeko) August 21, 2017
ICASA needs to step in and provide clarity over the license transfer from Gupta Inc. to Jimmy Manyi's shelf company #CountryDuty
— Public Protester (@Pasco_e) August 21, 2017
— Thabang_TM (@Thabz_TM) August 21, 2017
Manyi has volunteered to be a Gupta front for ANN7 and The New Age pic.twitter.com/KBBSHRY3GN
— Sentletse (@Sentletse) August 21, 2017