Former editor of ANN 7 TV news Channel, Rajesh Sundaram says although Duduzane Zuma was the director, it was former President Jacob Zuma who was more actively involved in the meetings on the status of the TV project. Sundaram is currently testifying at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg.
The TV channel owned by the Gupta family was established in 2013 but Multichoice terminated its broadcast contract in 2017.
Sundaram told the State Capture Commission that confidential information was shared with former president Zuma and that he later found out that Zuma had “a much bigger interest”.
Sundaram says he was surprised by how easy it was for him to get his visa/work permit. He says he was informed that there was a special arrangement made with the high office and a Gupta-Associate Ashu Chawla was to process the applications.
Sundaram also brought forward the establishment of ANN 7 TV news Channel in 2013, under the stewardship of former president Jacob Zuma.
He is also an author of the book “Indentured – Behind the Scenes at Gupta TV“, which details how Zuma was directly involved, including coming up with the name of the news channel.
Sundaram began his testimony with a background into how he joined ANN 7. “After NewsX, I joined the India Today group – which is one of the largest, oldest TV networks in India. I was there for four years as Editor. I went back and joined a station which is called News Nation – which was just starting up at that time. Immediately after that, I was contacted by the SL Media – the joint venture partner of ANN 7 with the Gupta family. I was asked whether I would go to SA to help with ANN 7, which I did. Why they found me a suitable candidate was because I had exposure to international media, having worked with Al Jazeera for two years. I had experiences in being part of the leadership teams that set up stations in India.”
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