Editorials 26.7.2018 08:40 am

Who’s paying back the millions the Gupta paper siphoned off?

The New Age newspaper – or Afro Voice, which is under application to be wound up – was kept alive by taxpayers’ money for years.

We are not part of that group of journalists mourning the demise of Mzwanele (Jimmy) Manyi’s Afro Voice newspaper, previously known as The New Age.

While it is never pleasant to see people lose their jobs, we have little sympathy for those who claimed they were journalists, yet could go to work for an entity that was set up as the propaganda arm of the state capture project and its masterminds, the Gupta family.

Despite its commitment to “independent” journalism, the newspaper and its TV equivalent, ANN7 (now also known as Afro Voice), were unashamedly used to further the aims of the Guptas, which included promoting the interests of, and defending, former president Jacob Zuma and his cronies.

Had the propaganda machine done only that, it would have been accepted as part of a diverse media landscape.

The fact that both the newspaper and TV channel were kept alive by taxpayers’ money – siphoned off compliant government departments and parastatals – was what made this so-called experiment in media freedom so repugnant.

Manyi has applied to have the newspaper wound up.

But what about all the millions of our money the organisation sucked up over the years? Who’s going to pay that back?

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