Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - The building that housed media outlets previously owned by the Gupta family has been sold for R29.5 million. 

Located in Midrand, the building visible from the M1 North became the first item to go under the hammer as properties of the companies formerly known as The New Age and ANN7 were auctioned on Wednesday. 

Bidding for the building with three semi-detached warehouses started at R20m. Auction attendees slugged it out until the successful bidder's  R29.5m offer was accepted.

The Star reported last week that the auctioneers, Park Village Auctions, had expected it to fetch between R30m and R35m. 

The media outlets, which the Guptas eventually sold to former government spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi for R300-million through vendor financing, have been liquidated, thus the auction. 

Manyi renamed the outlets Afro Voice and Afro Worldview months after obtaining them. 

But this was not enough to save the newspaper and 24-hour news channel that had attracted controversy as being mouthpieces for the Guptas and former President Jacob Zuma. 

When he filed for liquidation Manyi blamed the media companies' controversial past for its failure.

Other assets that were being auctioned included cameras, assorted lenses, speed lights, laptops, a large assortment of office furniture and equipment, executive desks, workstations, couches, boardroom tables, office chairs, printers, photocopiers, credenzas, fridges, microwaves, projector, television sets, steel shelving and a diesel generator.

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The Star