Speaking in his first major interview following the news that he had bought ANN7 and The New Age from the Guptas, Mzwanele Manyi appeared to “forget” on Monday night that he had been on the show before with his friend the BLF leader Andile Mngxitama.
Mngxitama has become increasingly controversial after being barred by the high court from intimidating journalists.
The Justice Factor host Justice Malala was trying to ask Manyi a question about previous things he’d said on the show and said: “How many times have you been in that chair, on this show, here with your good friend Andile Mngxitama, who I have to ask has been…”
Manyi then interjected, saying, “No, no … I was not here with Andile.”
An eNCA promotional clip for The Justice Factor features a voiceover in the clip that then asks: “Sure about that?” before showing footage of Manyi and Mngxitama sitting happily side by side in Malala’s studio in September 2016.
Take a look below:
They also mocked Manyi for his “big promises” when he told the outspoken Malala that he would pay him double the salary he was earning at eNCA.
Malala simply laughed at this.
“You can be rehabilitated,” joked Manyi. “So are you coming on board?”
The deal to buy the companies has been criticised as a possible front set up by the Guptas to continue operating their media empire in South Africa in the wake of no banks wanting to service them.
Manyi has denied he is merely acting as a front.
He declared yesterday in a Citizen interview in Midrand: “Here, at ANN7 and The New Age, they [the Guptas] are not here; I have bought them out completely. This was Atul’s office, so they are out. This is why I can tell you everything I am telling you.”
Asked about the media house’s reputation as purveyors of pro-Zuma propaganda, Manyi was quick to laugh off the accusation.
“First of all, that narrative is peddled by mainstream media. The reason they do that is because media in SA has misunderstood its role. Media in SA thinks that its role is to hold government to account. I differ. I think in South Africa the people that must hold government to account is parliament. Media must report both sides, what is happening in government and what is happening in parliament … they are mainly focused on what government is not doing.”
To remedy this flaw in what he described as mainstream and white-owned media, Manyi said his new empire would be a voice for government stories other publications refused to cover. He also issued a warning to the private sector which, he said, was ripe for transformation.
His journalists would “come down hard” on the private sector.