JOHANNESBURG: Mzwanele Manyi’s Afrotone Media has announced its new shareholders at the company’s revamped TV studios in Midrand on Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier this year, Manyi announced the rebranding of ANN7 and the New Age newspaper, which were previously owned by the Guptas, following the successful acquisition by his company Afrotone Media Holdings.
During a media briefing on Tuesday afternoon, Manyi told reporters that the business was a going concern, and that he had appointed two new editors for the business’ print and broadcast media outlets to assure South Africans of the newsrooms’ editorial independence.
He says he’s confident the shareholders unveiled at the Afro Worldview studios will entrench the companies vision of advancing Africans in media.
“These are the people who have vowed to take this ship to greater heights: Zamaswazi Dlamini-Mandela, Unathi Mguye and Sifiso Mthethwa.”
Among them is the granddaughter of former president Nelson Mandela who Manyi describes as having an extensive background in public relations and media.
Manyi says after being approached by countless would-be investors this final selection represents young Africans who aren’t already involved in similar deals.
Manyi said the business’ new recruits were of the highest quality and that talent continued to find its way to Afro Voice. “While we still have a long way to go, we will overcome challenges [as a] BBBEE Level one company that is fully black-owned,” he said.
“We have a staff of nearly 500 employees, who are mostly young women, and are the only channel with as many young woman anchors … Rebranding was more than just rebranding. It was about sending a message to stakeholders that it is now business unusual,” said Manyi.
Manyi said the company was willing to come on board with the media community in South Africa. He said he met with the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) and was excited about being brought into the fold with them.
Manyi said the company’s two new editors, Mpho Sithole and Ricky Naidoo, were experienced in leading newsrooms and defending press freedom. He said there would be no editorial interference.
Afro Worldview was a going concern, he added, which posed no risks to MultiChoice.