The Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) confirmed that the news channel Vila Kasi does not have the license to broadcast. The news fell as Mzwanele Manyi’s newspaper, Afro Voice, formerly known as the Gupta-owned New Age, is undergoing liquidation, placing dozens of journalists and other staff in limbo.
Channon Merricks, who refers to himself as the managing director of Vila Kasi Holdings which supposedly owns the channel Vila Kasi, maintained that Vila Kasi would launch on the first day of next month – supposedly on DStv.
However, Icasa spokesperson Paseka Maleka dismissed Merricks’s statement, saying, “In terms of the law, no one is allowed to provide a broadcasting service without a broadcasting service licence issued by Icasa in terms of the Electronic Communications Act. Icasa is therefore not aware of any launch of any new broadcasting service in the name of Vila Kasi.”
Merricks allegedly conned workers and contractors by telling them he had been awarded a new channel on MultiChoice’s DStv platform to run a 24-hour news and entertainment channel. Marietjie Groenewald, MultiChoice’s spokesperson, said this week the company was yet to announce a winning bidder for its new current affairs channel.