A Witsie is the latest member of the African News Network 7 (ANN7) to leave Gupta Island, less than a month after the 24-hour channel was launched.
Lebogang Molefe, 2nd year International Relations and Politics, submitted her resignation on Monday following a contractual conflict. Molefe was hired in July as a weather anchor for the weekend news programme, Morning Time, after a two-day audition process supervised by television personality Gerry Elsdon.
Molefe was chosen out of 30 female hopefuls. She said she resigned after she was asked to work a five-day week instead of the three days she had agreed to. “There is no bad blood between me and ANN7. I just can’t work during the week because of school,” explained Molefe.
Molefe said following the technical glitches and the media scrutiny that the channel received, a number of the employees hired as anchors decided to leave. Their departure resulted in other anchors, like her, having to work “double shifts”. Molefe said she was asked to audition while doing promotional work. She said that while most of the female anchors had modelling or promotional backgrounds she was not just a “pretty face”.
[pullquote]There is no bad blood between me and ANN7[/pullquote]
Molefe said the anchors had little input in news stories and some of the anchors did not know who the news editors were. “You’d arrive, get your hair and make-up done, practise your script, go on air and then you go home. That’s just how it was there. The news anchor has no say on the stories that were being written.”
Molefe, who is a former VoW FM news reader, said regardless of the rigid structure she would submit suggestions for news stories. Molefe said anchors do rehearse their scripts but the technical team made it difficult to execute bulletins effectively.
“Most of the technical team is from India, which makes it difficult to understand their instructions because of their dialect.” Molefe said businessman Atul Gupta was “very hands on” and she saw him every day. She said parts of the station were still under construction but that this did not disrupt broadcasting. “I have a lot of hope in ANN7, mistakes happen when something is new,” Molefe said.