JOHANNESBURG – Former ANN7 news editor Rajesh Sundaram said that the Gupta family used their friendship with former President Jacob Zuma to buy historic archive material from the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) worth millions of rand for far less below the material’s value.
Sundaram is testifying at the state capture commission about his time at the Gupta-owned channel.
On Monday, he told the inquiry that Zuma was involved in the day-to-day running of the station, more so than his son Duduzane, who was one of the shareholders of the company that owned the station.
Sundaram said that the SABC did a big favour for ANN7, thanks to Zuma.
“Footage of this nature would cost in the regions of millions of dollars and the rate at which they got the footage was something which was a throwaway price, which is something that was one as a favour.
“The officials at the SABC knew that the Gupta brothers were close to President Zuma.”
He said that buying such footage for peanuts, made him ask questions.
“Why would you want to give footage at a discount to a potential rival? Footage of this nature can’t be valued at a blanket basis.”
Last year, the SABC board instituted a forensic investigation into the purchase of the archive footage by ANN7