Afrotone Media Holdings headed by Mzwanele Manyi announced that its daily newspaper, Afro Voice, formerly known as The New Age, would file for liquidation.
Afro Voice closed abruptly on June 28, sending panic among its employees. The employees claimed they were only told on the day not to come back the following week as the newspaper was shutting down and they would only receive salaries for July.
In a statement released on Thursday, Manyi said the the decline in government and commercial advertising and the closure of the controversial TNA business breakfast forced the paper to close shop.
“Afro Voice is no longer in a position to financially sustain its business operations. In addition to being commercially insolvent, Afro Voice also have no sustainable prospects of being rescued from its dire financial position.
“Accordingly the board of directors of Afro Voice have (sic) no other alternative but to commence with liquidation proceedings and instructed attorneys to proceed with an application for liquidation,” he said.
Ross Richards from Cavanagh and Richards Attorneys confirmed the move and said they would be in court on July 24.
The newspaper was launched as The New Age in 2010 by the controversial Gupta family. It held TNA business breakfasts in partnership with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) where prominent government officials would discuss issues ranging from budgets to future plans.
A few years after its launch, the newspaper came under scrutiny after allegations of corruption emerged against the family.
In August 2017, the Gupta family threw in the towel and Manyi bought the daily newspaper and the news channel, ANN7.
He rebranded it from its original name to Afro Voice in April this year, but that seems to have not yielded results as the daily paper is longer on shelves.
Manyi’s news channel, Afro Worldview is still operating on MultiChoice’s DStv but that contract ends in August.
The channel has applied to be considered for MultiChoice’s new local news channel. Earlier this year, the pay-TV company said it received more than 60 applications and would pronounce outcomes of the bidding later in July.