Financial Mail - - EDITORIALS -

t’s po­etic jus­tice, isn’t it, that the fi­nal broad­cast by the Gupta pro­pa­ganda chan­nel hap­pened on the first day of the Zondo com­mis­sion of in­quiry into state cap­ture?

The demise of the ANN7 tele­vi­sion chan­nel — re­cently re­named Afro World­view — ex­actly a year af­ter Mzwanele Manyi “bought” it from the re­pug­nant Gupta fam­ily serves to show that noth­ing premised on the de­ceit of mil­lions can last for­ever. For years, ANN7 broad­cast lit­tle more than out­right pro­pa­ganda for the Gup­tas and for­mer pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma. It didn’t even have the sub­tlety of state-owned Rus­sia To­day.

To­day, the un­lim­ited power that the Gup­tas and their al­lies in the ANC en­joyed has gone. The New Age news­pa­per, of­ten as bluntly pro­pa­gan­dist as Zim­babwe’s state-owned Her­ald, folded on June 29, via liq­ui­da­tion at the high court. The Gup­tas’ min­ing en­ti­ties are also gasp­ing for air. Their demise is im­mi­nent.

In a jobs-starved econ­omy, it is easy to fall into the trap of mis­tak­ing ven­tures such as th­ese for those that pro­vide gen­uine em­ploy­ment. The Gupta busi­nesses were any­thing but — they were ve­hi­cles for the ex­trac­tion of re­sources from the peo­ple for the klep­to­crats. They di­verted public fo­cus away from the cor­rup­tion that im­pov­er­ished the coun­try.

So, good rid­dance: may there never again be an­other ANN7 or The New Age.


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