The management of the recently launched African News Network 7 (ANN7) channel has been accused of violating South Africa’s visa and work permit regulations through importing labour from India.
Rajesh Sundaram, the former consulting editor of ANN7, reportedly said several colleagues from India were not in possession of the required documentation to be working legally in South Africa.
HumanIPO reported yesterday on Sundaram fleeing the country for India after he exposed ANN7 and its owner Atul Gupta of allegedly assuring president Jacob Zuma the channel would adopt a pro-African National Congress (ANC) stance, portray the president’s detractors in a negative light, refer to smaller parties as “mushrooming smaller parties” and to ignore the Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa’s primary opposition party.
“Immediately before the launch, there were dozens of people brought in [from India]. They were in violation of the visa requirements because they were brought in on business visas to work,” Eye Witness News (EWN) quoted Sundaram as saying.
Nazeem Howa, the group chief executive of ANN7, denied Sundaram’s allegations, and said Sundaram was a disgruntled employee of the broadcaster.
Howa added that all staff from India complied with South Africa’s legislation.
Jackie Mckay, the deputy director general for Home Affairs, will reportedly not investigate the allegations due to the issue being hearsay.
She did, however, urge Sundaram to lodge a complaint formally.
Sundaram maintained only some of his now former colleagues, among many more from India, obtained the required work permits.
“I only saw young people given work permits to be part of the newsroom and the editorial process,” said Sundaram.