A former ANN7 editor, Rajesh Sundaram, has exposed former president Jacob Zuma’s direct influence in the creation of the controversial 24-hour news channel. Sundaram fled back to India after continual threats and a fear for his life.
In the explosive new book, on shelves soon, Sundaram shares how Gupta lieutenants falsely handed South African jobs to Indian nationals. He was also told the news would be pro-ANC, and mostly pro-Zuma by all accounts.
The book titled Indentured – Behind the scenes at Gupta TV is aptly titled to describe a system of slavery where Indian citizens were shipped to former colonies in order to perform hard labour.
Sundaram arrived in South Africa only a few days after the infamous Gupta wedding held at Sun City in 2013. He was appointed as the editor at the then unknown Infinity Media Networks. On a Sunday morning only a few weeks later, he found himself briefing President Jacob Zuma on the value propositions of the next big thing in media. Zuma himself chose the name Africa News Network 7. With his son Duduzane Zuma owning 30% in the ANN7 holding company, it was clear the family had a say in the running of the station.
The level of familiarity between Zuma and the Guptas is prevalent in the book, with Atul Gupta telling Sundaram to call Zuma ‘Baba’.
Here are a few explosive and shocking revelations highlighted in the tell-all book:
– Zuma picked government spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi to be a talk show host on ANN7
– Duduzane Zuma was eager to portray Julius Malema as corrupt to make Zuma look better on news bulletins
– Gupta lieutenant, Ashu Chawla, found a means to expedite Indian nationals in obtaining visas in South Africa, and Indian employees received better treatment than South African employees in the work place
– Sundaram was hounded and intimidated by Atul Gupta’s bodyguards
– Gupta insisted only models be used as presenters instead of journalists, and would only be paid with a pizza lunch
– Gupta called Deborah Patta “a white b*tch” and attacked her integrity as a journalist
Indentured – Behind the scenes at Gupta TV is available for purchase this week.