'My visa was cleared fairly quickly within a matter of a day' - ex-ANN7 editor tells state capture inquiry

2019-06-03 14:58
Former ANN7 consulting editor, Rajesh Sundaram. (Leon Sadiki, Gallo Images, City Press, file)

Former ANN7 consulting editor, Rajesh Sundaram. (Leon Sadiki, Gallo Images, City Press, file)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Video

WATCH LIVE: Spotlight shifts to ANN7 at state capture inquiry

2019-06-03 10:09

The judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture hears testimony from the former editor of TV news channel ANN7, Rajesh Sundaram. Watch live. WATCH

Former editor of TV news channel ANN7, Rajesh Sundaram, has told the judicial commission on inquiry into allegations of state capture that Gupta associate Ashu Chawla used his influence to bypass procedures to help him obtain his work permits.

Sundaram was testifying before inquiry chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Monday. 

He said before he came to South Africa, he did research on how to obtain a visa.

But when he realised that it was going to take a while for him to obtain one, Infinity media shareholder Laxmi Goel told him that they had a "setting with the high office in South Africa" and that the visa would be done in no time.

LIVE: Atul instructed ANN7 to 'hire models' because journalists refused to work with Guptas - Sundaram at #StateCaptureInquiry

He said Goel instructed him to submit a yellow fever vaccine, police clearance and a medical certificate.

He told the commission that he was told that the visas would "bypass the normal procedure" and that the details would be sent to Chawla, who would then speak to the high office in South Africa.

"I was told that the president's office who would then direct to the relevant department to expedite the visas and also bypassed some of the requirements that we needed.

"I found, to my surprise, that my visa was cleared fairly quickly within a matter of a day.

"They had gone in there, submitted the documents. I didn't have to go there personally. I was not interviewed at all at any point…" 

Propaganda

Sundaram arrived in the country shortly after the Guptas' infamous Sun City wedding six years ago and was appointed the editor of Infinity Media Networks, ANN7's official name.

Sundaram, also the author of Indentured - Behind the Scenes at Gupta TV, which detailed former president Jacob Zuma's direct hand in the creation of the now defunct news channel.

He revealed that a few weeks later, he briefed Zuma himself on the virtues and value propositions of Africa News Network 7, a name chosen by Zuma. 

The experienced journalist, tasked with giving the channel a running start, also told the commission that he regretted setting up a news channel which was used by the "mafia" for "propaganda". 

He said the channel was more of a propaganda station than a professional one for news.  

The hearing continues.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    ann7  |  rajesh sundaram  |  raymond zondo  |  johannesburg  |  state capture  |  state capture inquiry
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.