Johannesburg - DStv has confirmed, in a short message to subscribers, that the Afro Worldview news channel, formerly known as ANN7, would go off air on August 20.

Earlier this year, MultiChoice announced that it would stop carrying the channel.

This came after the public fallout over the Gupta emails, which showed that MultiChoice, which operates DStv, had inexplicably paid R25 million to the Gupta-owned channel and had increased its annual carriage fee from R50m to R141m.

In August last year, the Guptas sold their media properties to former GCIS boss Mzwanele Manyi’s Afrotone, valuing The New Age newspaper at R150m and ANN7 at R300m, through a vendor financing deal.

In June, the newspaper shut its doors, and last month Manyi went to court seeking for the paper to be liquidated. In court papers, he said the newspaper was financially insolvent with no rescue prospects.

A reporter at Afro Worldview on Tuesday night said workers at the station, which went on air in 2013, had been kept in the dark.

“The last thing we were told was that our jobs are safe,” the journalist said.

Following the announcement that DStv would yank the channel off its platform earlier this year, the Communications Workers Union (CWU) had sought to safeguard the jobs at the station.

“CWU have told us that our jobs are safe. If Afro Worldview goes off air, the new entrant will try to absorb us,” the journalist said.

MultiChoice also announced that a new “black-owned” news channel would replace Afro Worldview, and sought applications from prospective bidders.

More than 60 entities applied for the bid, and while the successful bidder would have been announced last month, this had been delayed.

CWU’s Aubrey Tshabalala said the union was hopeful workers at the station would be absorbed by the new broadcaster.

He said two of the union’s shop stewards were on Monday suspended by Afro Worldview’s management.

Contacted for comment, Manyi said he would only respond via text message and had failed to do so at the time of publishing.

Political Bureau