Twitter congratulates Mzwanele Manyi

Ex-government spin doctor Mzwanele Manyi is having Twitter abuzz with congratulations.

He bought news channel ANN7 and daily newspaper New Age from the Gupta family.

Manyi’s Lodidox will pay R450m to Oakbay Investments, owned by the Gupta to acquire the two media entities.

Lodidox will own Infinity Media, the company that owns ANN7 (R300m), and TNA Media, owner the New Age (R150m).

Oakbay Investments said they believed the purchase will give them the space to focus on clearing the names of the Gupta family “in the face of unfounded media allegations”.

“The sale is part of Oakbay’s commitment to preserve jobs and provide certainty to [the] over 7 500 hard-working employees,” Oakbay Investments said in a statement on Monday.

“Under a new majority shareholder, Oakbay believes that both businesses and their employees will have the bright and prosperous future they deserve.

“The sale will also allow the shareholder the time to focus on clearing its name in the face of unfounded media allegations.

“We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Lodidox and the management team, the sale of our shareholdings will secure the future of these businesses and help preserve the jobs of their employees,” it said.

Manyi, head of the Decolonisation Foundation, is an ex-cabinet spokesperson.

He had held many positions in the past, including being director-general of the department of labour, President of the Progressive Professsional Forum and Black Business Council.

He also worked for private companies like Barclays Bank PLC and Nedcor Group (People’s Bank), running the business’ banking division, marketing, development, BBBEE and government relations.

Then Labour Minister Membathisi Mdladlana suspended Manyi from his post as director-general in 2010 after it emerged he met up with a Norwegian ambassador using an official meeting to promote his private interests.

In 2011, President Jacob Zuma appointed Manyi the cabinet’s communication director but left soon after a row with journalists.

Manyi said he was delighted by the ANN7 and New Age deal and looks forward to completing it successfully.

“These are two strong businesses which are full of potential and, under the right external circumstances, can become an increasingly important and relevant part of the South African media landscape,” he said.

“In addition, I am particularly impressed that the shareholders of Oakbay have agreed to do a vendor financing at acceptable terms as part of their commitment to transformation and to expedite the transaction,” Manyi said.

(edited by MLM)

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