Home Affairs confirms ANN7 arrests
The Department of Home Affairs on Tuesday confirmed that it had detained several ANN7 employees at the television studio's headquarters in Midrand.
“Yes‚ I can confirm that Home Affairs continued its operation at ANN7 and several workers have been detained while [the department] inspects documentation‚” spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said on his Twitter account.
Insiders told TimesLIVE that four employees had been detained by immigration officers. The detained group are nationals from India who should have been operating with work permits.
The department's officials descended on the premises of the television station formerly owned by the Gupta family before midday.
Officials engaged in lengthy discussions with the new ANN7 boss‚ Mzwanele Manyi. The detentions were carried out only late in the afternoon.
Tweeting under the hashtag #ANN7Raid‚ Manyi was quoted by the station as saying the “drama was unnecessary as no one is running away from the law”.
In an interview on the channel‚ Manyi said he believed there was a communication breakdown between the department and the employees as they had agreed to submit all documents required.
“We changed lawyers as the group and in that change of lawyers‚ something happened where they perhaps thought, ‘Why are we changing lawyers?' or whatever, but the bottom line is the duty of submitting documents carried on. There was no disruption with that. So from where sit as an organisation‚ we were on that process to go and drop off documents so they can inspect‚” said Manyi.
The documents would have been handed in by Thursday‚ he clarified.
This was the department's second visit to the station in as many weeks. It said it had performed a “routine inspection” in its February visit.
The Gupta family’s Oakbay Investments sold its shares in ANN7 and The New Age to Manyi’s Lodidox last year in a “vendor-financed” deal‚ reportedly for R450-million.