I’m rather fond of the saying ‘you can’t polish a turd’, and TV channels don’t come much more stained and soiled than ANN7.
There are the bloopers (so many bloopers), and then there’s the fact that it has long been known as a propaganda mouthpiece for the Guptas to sell South Africans their special recipe for State Capture.
I guess that’s why much of the reaction to the news that Mzwanele ‘Jimmy’ Manyi was buying the channel, as well as the rag that is The New Age newspaper, was disgust – mixed in with a little disbelief that the financing of it all.
The Daily Maverick’s Richard Poplak was once again in fine voice, pointing out that fake news is about to be multiplied by fake news.
After detailing some of Jimmy Manyi’s background, he gets to the point:
…as Manyi oozed his way out of government, he oozed into Saxonwold: the #GuptaLeaks inform us that Manyi sent the First Family his CV, ID book and certifications; he was being invited to The New Age events as far back as 2011.
But Manyi [below] really began to shine when he started parroting lines from the Bell Pottinger lyric sheet. He Tweeted rabidly about White Monopoly Capital; he began defending the family with hashtags; in August 2016, Bell Pottinger helped him start a one-man show called the Mzwanele Manyi Decolonisation Foundation. (Never a good sign when a man in his mid-fifties starts appropriating wokisms.) He was the primary proponent of a discipline I’ll call “shyster relativism”, which goes something like this: why dis the Guptas when the white-owned banks are stealing your money?
…But this is all preamble, because the show properly began on Monday, when Manyi’s Lodidox bought Oakbay’s shareholding in Infinity Media, which runs ANN7 News Channel, for ‘R300 million’, along with its two-thirds stake in TNA Media, the publisher of TNA, for ‘R150 million’. Manyi is no stranger to either outfit—he’s starred in both as a Gupta fanboy for five years
Quick question – remember when the Guptas tried to snap up the Mail & Guardian for R20 million? Sorry, how exactly is the New Age now worth R150 million?
Enter a case of broad daylight robbery:
…it’s a daylight banking scam that has less to do with Manyi the Media Mogul than it does ensuring the Zuma propaganda arms can keep ticking over while the Guptas are unbanked by every last financial institution on the planet. Manyi has “bought” the companies through “vendor financing”, which is a fancy way of saying that the seller has lent the buyer the money. If that doesn’t reek enough, this is the first deal Lodidox has ever undertaken, and neither Infinity nor TNA are worth anything in the region of R450 million.
Basically, Manyi hasn’t bought anything. It’s a flip-job, due to the fact that the Guptas are too sleazy even for the sleaziest bankers
If the banks shut you down, sell your assets for a massively inflated price to someone using your own money to finance the deal.
Poplak’s ending is a straight kick to the groin:
And so now Manyi gets his own Breitbart, a media empire that pimps for a bad, bad crew. He’ll find it a tough slog. It’s easy bullshitting on Twitter. It’s harder doing it for a living, paying hundreds of salaries every month. But Manyi won’t have to worry about earthbound economics. If the Zuma faction wins the ANC electoral conference in December, he’ll be a czar with his own vast landscape to command. And Mzwanele Manyi’s truth will be the only one that counts.
If you’re still gobbling up the absolute shite that ANN7 and The New Age serve up, you’re probably beyond saving.
Still, it’s scary to think that a deal like this can be pulled off, when it’s so obvious to all what is going on, and we can only watch.
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