I was sent to set up a propaganda station - Former ANN7 editor Rajesh Sundaram

Former ANN7 editor Rajesh Sundaram concluded his testimony at the state capture inquiry and has returned to India.

While before the commission, Sundaram described how former President Jacob Zuma played an active role in the setting up and running of the TV station.

He talks to Kieno Kammies about his role at the stations and says initially, MultiChoice declined ANN7 a slot but overturned its decision after discussions were held.

Read: ANN7 used Jacob Zuma's name to obtain SABC archives for a song, commission told

He says he was offered the job because he had decades of journalism and broadcast experience but soon after arriving in South Africa he noticed red flags, such as a meeting early on with former president Jacob Zuma.

MultiChoice wanted the new broadcaster that was going to join them to tell them what is going to be their programming mix, what technology they were using and also they wanted to keep tabs on the station, on how the content was evolving.

Rajesh Sundaram, Former editor - ANN7

But the Guptas did not want anybody to put any sense of accountability into the whole process. They knew that the delegation that was sent from ANN7 to MultiChoice was lying through their teeth about the level of preparedness.

Rajesh Sundaram, Former editor - ANN7

I was sent to set up a station which was going to be a propaganda station which is run by the mafia like the Guptas. That's a scary part if I think about it.

Rajesh Sundaram, Former editor - ANN7

Sundaram confirmed that former New Age editor-in-chief Moegsien Williams was part of the meetings with Jacob Zuma and the Guptas.

However, he has denied any wrongdoing.

I find it funny that he would not want to come and testify. If he is confident about what he is saying he should come and testify.

Rajesh Sundaram, Former editor - ANN7

Also, he doesn't want to cross-examine me nor does he want to be cross-examined...

Rajesh Sundaram, Former editor - ANN7

Sundaram says former president Zuma's son, Duduzane Zuma was a shareholder at the Guptas company and that his father was getting kickbacks through him.

The primary revenue for the station was government advertising which the president roped in for the station.

Rajesh Sundaram, Former editor - ANN7

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : I was sent to set up a propaganda station - Former ANN7 editor Rajesh Sundaram


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