Mail & Guardian reports that a former ANN7 consulting editor fears for his life after he was allegedly threatened by an armed bodyguard at the ANN7 offices on Friday.
Just days after being in the news and on YouTube for what some originally thought to be a satirical take on how not to launch a TV channel, ANN7 is in the news again.
This time it is because, according to Mail & Guardian, "a former ANN7 employee says he fears for his life after turning down a severance package and was threatened by an alleged ANN7 bodyguard".
It seems Rajesh Sundaram claims that he was threatened by an armed bodyguard and then a senior employee after he allegedly declined a severance package. Now, he says, he fears for his life.
Sundaram's reported as saying yesterday that he told the policeman who took his statement that should anything happen to him, the police should ask the Guptas for answers.
Sundaram said his woes started almost as soon he landed in South Africa to start work at ANN7. Interference in editorial policy, as well as the general treatment of staff at the channel culminated in his resignation. But Sundaram was not satisfied with the severance package ANN7 offered – five days’ pay and a plane ticket back to his home in India.
He felt he was entitled to the overtime for the "16 to 18-hour days" he had worked since arriving at the channel three months ago. He said Atul Gupta also asked him to announce on his twitter and Facebook pages that he would be taking a two-week break from ANN7, so as not to alert the South African press to the fact that a senior editorial staffer had resigned. He agreed.
When he repeatedly turned the severance package down, he claimed he was frog-marched into an office where an armed bodyguard was present and asked to sign the originalpackage. "At that point I had had enough," he told the M&G on Sunday.
Wow, bodyguards, long working hours, dodgy deals...sounds like a scene from The Godfather. Read the full interview with the Mail & Guardian here.