Tuesday, August 22, 2017

South Africa's COPE and EFF political parties join the Democratic Alliance in calling for a boycott of the controversial and divisive 'Guptanews' ANN7 channel on DStv.

On Tuesday in South Africa the COPE political party called for a ban and thorough investigation of the controversial and divisive "Guptanews" ANN7 (DStv 405) TV channel carried by MultiChoice on its DStv satellite pay-TV platform, joining the EFF and Democratic Alliance political parties that previously called for an ANN7 ban.

The EFF and the Democratic Alliance (DA) political party both called for a boycott and ban of the slanted and blooper-filled ANN7 earlier this year, and the EFF again did so on Tuesday.

These parties have now been joined by COPE - representing the majority of South Africa's opposition parties.

COPE's call for a shutdown of ANN7 and a thorough investigation into the controversial TV channel from Infinity Media Networks owned by Oakbay Investments, comes a day after Oakbay announced that ANN7 and The New Age newspaper are being "sold" through a vendor loan for R450 million to the former ANC spin tsar Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi.

Jimmy Manyi is a Gupta acolyte and a frequent on-air "analyst" on the "fake news" channel that stews in biased news through slanted, rhetorical questions put to one-sided panelists and where the Bell-Pottinger PR invented catchphrase of "white monopoly capital" to deflect from South African state capture is employed daily, and often.

COPE wants a thorough investigation of the R450 million deal between the Guptas' Oakbay and Jimmy Manyi's Lodidox pop-up shelf companyand is calling for a recall of ANN7's broadcasting license as a TV channel on MultiChoice's platform.

COPE calls the Oakbay-Manyi transaction to suddenly "buy" ANN7 and The New Age in a debt sale deal just days before the Bank of Baroda closes their bank accounts "extremely suspicious", saying that the "transaction is clouded in secrecy, giving rise to more questions than answers".

COPE wants to know who and how the deal was financed, what process was followed, and if South Africa's broadcasting regulator, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) approved the sudden sale of ANN7.

In June the Democratic Alliance (DA) called for a boycott of ANN7 saying South Africans can't "allow the Guptas' propaganda to bring the credibility of our media into question".

"Hardworking and dedicated journalist and staff at both Gupta media houses are being abused by the corrupted political agendas of the ANC and the Guptas. The DA stands in solidarity with these journalists and staff who report with integrity, but are under enormous political pressure."

"It is time to stop giving The New Age and ANN7 the time of day, and see them for what they are: The Guptas’ own Closed Circuit Television. It is time to stop all funding of ANN7 and The New Age, to put a stop to the Guptas propaganda campaign."

The EFF political party reiterated its call for a boycott of ANN7, in a statement saying "There is nothing 'media transformation' about this deal; to call it this is like thinking the apartheid's creating of Bantustans was a progressive liberation move for black people".

"Like Bantustan leaders, Jimmy Manyi is a stooge representing the entrenchment of Gupta corruption in our country."

"We know that The New Age has been a sole beneficiary of many corrupt deals in state institutions like South African Airways (SAA) and the SABC, as well as in many state departments."

"This means The New Age should be returning all the money it made through illegal and questionable deals like that with the SABC Morning Live Business Breakfast briefings".

"We are not blind to the fact that Jimmy Manyi will continue the business of fake news and reporting that characterises the Gupta media empire. This is because Jimmy Manyi himself has been central to false propaganda and the defence of Zupta corruption that is killing many state institutions."

"He is the cheerleader of kleptocracy and a mascot of the Zupta corruption."

An online petition that was started on 30 March this year and calling for MultiChoice to remove ANN7 from DStv has so far attracted 12 578 signatures from angry DStv subscribers, making it the 3rd most signed online petition at Petitions24.com worldwide for 2017 so far.

MultiChoice has not yet responded to the petition.