Four senior ANN7 staffers arrested - report
Home Affairs’ immigration officials have arrested four senior employees at former Gupta-linked TV channel ANN7‚ Eyewitness News reported.
It said it was understood that the group was handcuffed after they were caught without proper documentation to work in South Africa.
TimesLIVE reported earlier that officials from the department of Home Affairs had returned to the ANN7 studios in Midrand on Tuesday.
A convoy of their vehicles arrived at the premises of the former Gupta-owned channel shortly after 11am.
This was just minutes before the channel's new owner‚ Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi and controversial pastor Paseka Motsoeneng‚ known as Mboro‚ were to hold a press briefing at the studios. An invite to the media believed to be from Mboro said the briefing was to address the issue of who really owned the channel.
Mboro was meant to have a television show aired on the channel from last Sunday but pulled the plug on the eleventh hour‚ reportedly because he believed the Gupta family still had ties to the channel.
WATCH: Immigration officers from home affairs revisited ANN7 today to verify documents for approximately 18 Indian national journalists working for the news network.— ANN7 (@ANN7tv) March 6, 2018
Afrotone Media Chairperson Mzwanele Manyi clears the confusion #ANN7Prime | #Dstv405 pic.twitter.com/gJIfVgNPjd
This was the second visit by Home Affairs to the premises in two weeks.
On February 22‚ officials descended on the premises and later said this was part of "a routine inspection". The action was believed to be related to staff from India who may not have work permits.
At the time‚ the department said it would release its findings once they were all verified.
The Gupta family's Oakbay Investments sold its shares in ANN7 and The New Age newspaper to Manyi's Lodidox last year‚ in a "vendor-financed" deal‚ reportedly for R450-million.
- With reporting by Naledi Shange