Gupta media outlets raked in R419m a year: affidavit

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Gupta media outlets raked in R419m a year: affidavit

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\n Sipho Mabena | 2017-01-20 16:17:28.0\n \n \n \n \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n \n\n \n\n\n \n \n

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\n \n \n \n The Gupta family has been caught up in a new controversy.\n \n \n \n
Image by: MARTIN RHODES\n \n \n \n

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\n Controversial Gupta-owned media outlets The New Age (TNA) newspaper and 24-hour news channel African News Network 7 (ANN7) raked R419-million in revenue for the financial year ending February 2016.\n

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This accounted for 12% of all revenue brought in by the family’s holding company‚ Oakbay Investments.

These details are contained in the affidavit deposed by the company’s acting chief executive‚ Ronica Ragavan‚ in response to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s application for the high court in Pretoria to declare that he cannot intervene in the dispute between banks and the Gupta-owned companies.

On October 14 last year‚ Gordhan filed court papers that contained explosive details about “suspicious” bank transactions by Gupta-owned companies totaling almost R6.8-billion‚ which may have contributed to the banks closing the Gupta accounts.

According to Ragavan’s affidavit‚ TNA and ANN7 created 783 jobs and‚ as with other Oakbay Group companies‚ ANN7‚ was focused on skills development and job creation.

“ANN7 and TNA currently have offices in six provinces in SA. ANN7‚ in conjunction with TNA‚ has an existing cadet academy‚ which has launched the careers of many SA journalists since its inception‚ both at ANN7 and TNA and other media outlets‚” Ragavan’s affidavit reads.

The affidavit states that since 2012‚ the cadets academy has produced‚ on average‚ 40 young journalists a year.

The court papers‚ filed on Friday‚ described Gordhan’s application as an “abuse of power” and an “effort to involve the independent judiciary to settle political scores”.

If the court “were to countenance” the application‚ “it would open the floodgates for other weak-kneed political officials who are too scared to take positions of sensitive political and policy matters”.

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