Primedia was also in the Guptas’ sights

Primedia is among the media outlets the Gupta family had hoped to buy‚ according to leaked emails‚ amaBhungane and Scorpio reported on Wednesday.

The leaked emails show that the controversial family had “hoped to build up a South African media empire”.

This follows an attempt to buy one of its leading critics‚ the Mail and Guardian‚ a portion of Independent Media and Primedia‚ the investigative journalism units said.

Through pro-government positioning‚ the family sought to win “lucrative” government advertising‚ which their television channel ANN7 and The New Age newspaper have benefited from.

On Monday TimesLIVE reported that the Guptas had weighed up the possibility of buying the Mail and Guardian to reposition it as “pro-government‚ pro-Zuma‚ pro-Gupta”.

Despite this attempt‚ the M&G was not the only outlet the Guptas wanted to add to the empire‚ and “certainly not the most desirable”.

“It was Primedia – the company which owns radio stations including 702 and Cape Talk; the Eyewitness News service; and Ster-Kinekor – that a Gupta employee characterised as ‘the jewel in the crown’‚” amaBhungane and Scorpio reported.

The leaked emails are part of a series of internal Gupta correspondence that has been widely reported on in recent weeks. The emails appear to show the Gupta family’s widespread influence on government decisions‚ to a large extent facilitated by President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane‚ who is their business partner.

The emails have renewed calls for a commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture.

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