Businessman Mzwanele "Jimmy" Manyi has applied for a liquidation order for TNA Media. File picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/ANA Archives

Cape Town - Mzwanele Manyi has been granted a provisional liquidation order for the company that owns the daily newspaper AfroVoice. The newspaper, which was previously known as The New Age, was formerly owned by the Gupta family.

Manyi and five other directors of his company AfroTone Media asked the North Gauteng High Court to urgently place their subsidiary TNA Media, the publisher of AfroVoice, under liquidation, saying it can no longer be rescued.

Last month AfroVoice's operational debt ballooned to R23.2 million, forcing the company's directors to close it down without giving journalists any prior notice. The company's revenue had steadily been declining due to sudden withdrawals of subscriptions, advertisement and the indefinite suspension of TNA business briefings by the SABC after the Gupta family abandoned their South African business interests.

“As a result of the (company’s) dire financial position, it currently conducts business in insolvent circumstances, and consequently the directors have a legal duty to cease all operations and further to act in the best interest of all stakeholders, including the body of creditors, its employees and shareholders,” Manyi said in his sworn affidavit.

The application for liquidation was opposed by most of the newspaper's staff but on Tuesday they backtracked and caved in to Manyi's legal team.