Customers told Afro WorldView to cease broadcasting on Dstv

JOHANNESBURG - Former Gupta-owned television news channel Afro WorldView, previously known as ANN7, will cease to exist on Dstv later this month after the contract ended, Multichoice, owner of the direct broadcast satellite service, told customers this week.

A short on-screen message told subscribers to visit other television news channels as Afro WorldView would stop airing on August 20.

Multichoice announced last year that it would not renew Afro WorldView's contract, owing to ''mistakes made'' regarding the Gupta contract which caused reputational damage.

The latest development follows the retrenchment of staff at Afro WorldView's sister publication Afro Voice, previously known as The New Age, and its subsequent liquidation granted by the high court.

Owner Mzwanele Manyi's Afrotone Media Holdings had rebranded the two outlets just a few months ago, in a ''strategic decision'' to break away from the scandal-ridden fugitive Gupta family who sold the media platforms through a vendor financing deal.

Manyi announced in April that the R450 million price tag had to be re-negotiated and was lowered, leading to a full settlement. 

He further announced new shareholders who he said would take the media company ''to greater heights.'' One of them is former president Nelson Mandela's great-granddaughter, Samaswazi Dlamini-Mandela. 

Retrenched Afro Voice workers continue to fight for severance packages through the Communications Workers Union (CWU) after they were told in June to stay at home. They were paid their July salaries, signalling the end of a newspaper founded by the Guptas in 2010 and seen as sympathetic to former president Jacob Zuma and the governing ANC party.

Afro WorldView is one of the bidders for Multichoice's new black-owned 24-hour television news channel. According to media reports, bidders include media houses such as MSG Afrika, which owns Power FM radio, and Sunday Times newspaper owners Tiso Blackstar.

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