Inside ANN7: The Bad and the ugly

Veteran journalist Rajesh Sundaram paints a dark picture of his former employers, the Guptas and the ANN7 TV channel he came to start up. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Veteran journalist Rajesh Sundaram has painted a dark picture of his former employers, the Guptas and the ANN7 TV channel he came to start up.

Sundaram's state capture inquiry testimony weaves a tapestry of flagrant disregard for labour law, let alone basic human decency.

eNCA reporter Michael Appel also has personal experience of working for the Guptas.

Appel worked in the Guptas' media empire - The New Age newspaper and ANN7- for about 5 years.

He details how the working hours were insane at the media house.

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A February 2015 work roster shows journalists being required to work 10-hour shifts, 12 days in a row.

It soon became apparent that the Basic Conditions of Employment Act was there to be ignored.

"The sense that I got is that they didn't really respect the people who worked for them,” Sundaram said.

“They thought they were all servants who could be treated in any way they want. They could be kept in subhuman conditions."

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Ethel Williams Abrahamse, a former ANN7 employee, started working at the channel three days before its launch.

She stayed for only six months and remains traumatised to this day. "At ANN7 you worked because somebody tells you to work,” said Abrahamse.

“If Atul (Gupta) tells you I want you to go shoot that and you say you've just done 12 hours.

He says, well you do want your job or you don't want your job. You decide."

Nowadays the ANN7 building is nothing more than an empty shell now.

It is a place where careers began but also a place of suffering and degradation.

Appel has more details in the video above.