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AS IT HAPPENED: Journos respond after Manyi show

Mzwanele (Jimmy) Manyi. (Netwerk24)
Mzwanele (Jimmy) Manyi. (Netwerk24)
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30 Aug 2017

The documents Manyi shared on Wednesday:


<p><strong>The documents Manyi shared on Wednesday:</strong></p><p><br /></p>

30 Aug 2017

Mail & Guardian associate editor Phillip de Wet and Daily Maverick journalist Pauli van Wyk respond on twitter (see below) after Mzwanele Manyi called them in front of a live studio to inspect his shareholding documents of Lodidox, which bought ANN7 and The New Age from the Guptas via vendor financing.

30 Aug 2017

The full video of the briefing:

30 Aug 2017

Full statement by Mzwanele Manyi:

In my capacity as chairperson of Lodidox (Pty) Ltd, I have received numerous demands from several media entities to grant access or make public the shareholders’ register of the company.

These demands notwithstanding that they are not unlawful, are rather unusual to make to a private, start-up company and not often directed to other companies in South Africa in similar circumstances.

Two media entities have even sent lawyers’ letters to have access to the shareholders’ register and threatened to institute criminal charges against me if I did not comply.

My initial stance to meet them in court was informed by my right to privacy which I later decided to waive in the public interest. It was indeed disappointing but not unexpected to see rather malicious reporting and demeaning innuendos in media coverage related to the purchase by Lodidox of media entities, The New Age and 24-hour news channel ANN7.

I have decided in the spirit of transparency and public interest to make available to the public the details of Lodidox’s shareholders’ register and other related documents with an express hope that the baseless negative reporting, speculation and the rumour-mongering will come to a halt.

I have bought all the shareholder related documents for public viewing by media and trust that the information witnessed will be reported to the public to correct the malicious narrative.

I also want to dispel the myth surrounding the special purpose financial vehicle used to purchase the two media entities from Oakbay Investments.

Vendor financing is not an invention of Mzwanele Manyi, it has been a common feature of structuring business deals in South Africa in recent years, especially in affecting black economic empowerment.

Some of the more prominent vendor-financed deals in recent times include Lonmin providing Shanduka with vendor financing amounting to R2.26 billion in 2011. This made it possible for Shanduka to acquire a 50.03 percent stake in Incwala, Lonmin’s designated BEE vehicle.Patrice Motsepe started his mining business with an $8 million loan from Anglo American with repayments made from future profits.

There were vendor-financed deals between Dimension Data and Andile Ngcaba’s Convergence Partners in 2012 and Shanduka giving a 10.5 stake in the company to Lilitha, a women’s empowerment group in 2009.There is nothing unique nor original with the vendor financing provided by Oakbay Investments to Lodidox for the purchase of the two media entities.

The hypocritical response to it exposed the ignorance if not malice by those who made the negative comments.I have concluded the transaction with confidence about the viability of the two media companies.

This is based on the resilience and profitable growth potential which The New Age showed over the six years since its launch. In addition, the ANN7 is showing a profit and a reasonable return on the several hundred-million rand capital investments made since 2013.

I reject with contempt the calculations and forecasts made by several publications based on unrelated minority share disposal figures in the public domain versus the profitability of The New Age and ANN7.

The intention is clearly to cast aspersions, undermine and denigrate the historically significant purchase of a media entity by a black person and an African.The New Age and ANN7 employ close to 500 staff whose jobs have been saved by this deal and we plan to attract new talent and grow the business.

We are encouraged by the early signs of renewed confidence in our two entities following the acquisition.In conclusion, my disclosure of the shareholders’ register and related documents is an indication of my commitment to transparency and good corporate governance.

I hope that other media companies will demonstrate the same openness in their business dealings when called upon to do so.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi press conference concludes.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi: There is not a whiff of evidence that suggests any criminal activity. The Guptas do not have an office here.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi: The only other shareholder of ANN7 and The New Age is the Indian company, which I have kept on for skills transfer and technology.

30 Aug 2017

Mzwanele Manyi, sole owner of the company that bought Gupta-owned media units ANN7 and The New Age, said on Wednesday he decided to disclose the shareholding to be transparent and show good governance.
Manyi reveals he's sole shareholder of firm that bought ANN7, New Age

30 Aug 2017

Manyi: We are leasing this building.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi: We are contesting the credibility of ABC. (This is response to question about The New Age's circulation). We want to show numbers that are backed up.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi says he will also approach the private sector.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi: I won't apologise for knocking on the door for government spending. There is R1.5trn for spending.

30 Aug 2017

Phillip de Wet: What happens if it turns out you have bought a company with proceeds of crime. If it turns out that ANN7 and The New Age was funded by money belonging to the people of SA?

30 Aug 2017

Pauli van Wyk: Who owns the buildings and do the Guptas have offices here?

30 Aug 2017

Manyi says he has met the staff meeting and their grievances will be dealt with. "We want to grow the talent.'

30 Aug 2017

Manyi: The Guptas have zero influence here. I call the shots here. I don't have to consult anybody. The only people I deal with is staff. They do there thing. I don't interfere with their (editorial) decisions.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi: Go to the IDC (Industrial Development Corporation) to see how long I have tried. I asked the Guptas to do this via vendor financing as I had already been bitten. You would think DFI (developmental financial institutions) would help. I said it was a good method. The Guptas have benefited from the country. So there is nothing wrong with them helping to save jobs. A lot more black people would be in business space if more companies did vendor financing.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi explains why he went the vendor financing route: I previously had frustrations with the IDC. I wanted a R300m in stake in a listed entity. It was frustrating. I needed 10% of R300m. Where was I going to get this?

30 Aug 2017

Manyi accuses journalists of picking on him. Says that only three journalists put their hand up when asked who had asked for shareholder details of other firms. He said this is proof he is a victim.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi: No one of you here (to the journalists present) have these facilities (that ANN7 has).

30 Aug 2017

Manyi says nobody is going to be victimised.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi says he is very happy with the staff. Whether the team reflects SA is going to be a work in progress.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi believes that ANN7 and The New Age can only go higher and higher from here.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi told the team that they should not fear for their jobs. "They are not going anywhere, we are going to grow the team."

30 Aug 2017

Manyi said he believes that institutionalised racism should be dealt with. He says there were reports that he was a puppet and he thought, well, it is because he is black. He says how much he is paying back to the Guptas has nothing to do with why we are here today. He said in the past he was in the public sector where people had the right to know what is happening with their tax monies.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi was attacking a Sunday Times column by Qaanitah Hunter, who had worked with Manyi at ANN7 in 2013. "I recall observing Manyi from the control room as he tried to be firm and strong, asking tough questions on corruption. He seldom prepped for interviews, didn't care about post-production and left quickly after his interview," she wrote.
Manyi is no mogul, just a puppet on a Gupta string

30 Aug 2017

Manyi: It is not just you. Why does everyone think I am a puppet? There is a general issue of racism in this country.  People should see my criticism of institutional racism as an opportunity to change.

30 Aug 2017

Van Wyk: Why is it that every time I ask you a question that is difficult, you fall back on the idea you are being targeted because you are black. I have sent the same requests to many people who are white.

30 Aug 2017

Manyi laughs: You can take your seat now!

30 Aug 2017

Manyi: I notice your disappointment that everything is transparent. This is the only version. If there is another version, I challenge you to put it in there. This is the type of innuendo that I detest.

30 Aug 2017

Daily Maverick's Pauli van Wyk: What do you pay per month for the acquisition. Will your auditors ratify this? Is this the only version of this. Or is there a version in between this?

30 Aug 2017

Manyi says in the past he was in the public sector where people had the right to know what is happening with their tax monies.

30 Aug 2017

De Wet: Three of the companies here have submitted requests.

30 Aug 2017

De Wet: Do you find this request unusual asking for shareholder register requests?
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