JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) on Monday said it has "noted the hasty closure" of the Afro Voice newspaper, previously the New Age.
Afro Voice journalists were called to a meeting last Thursday and then informed that the paper was publishing its final edition.
Sanef Chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase said the paper has been dogged by controversy from the beginning when Vuyo Mvoko, the publication’s first editor resigned with senior editorial staff before the publishing of the paper’s first edition. Since then controversy has continued to follow the publication.
"Some of these issues have included its ownership by the Gupta family. Also, from the start, the paper refused to publish circulation figures. It was highly dependent on government and approximately 50% of every print-run was distributed free of charge to government departments and parastals.
"Further, parastals funded the 'New Age breakfasts' that hosted government ministers, amongst others. The funding went to the New Age while South Africa’s financially-strapped public broadcaster, the SABC broadcast the 45-minute breakfast programme for free," said Mahlase.