#GuptaLeaks REVEAL THAT MULTICHOICE PAID THE GUPTAS MILLIONS

After the transfer of power was completed,  Muthambi caused controversy by pushing through a decision which favours unencrypted set-top boxes.

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Image: Indianspice

If you thought the #GuptaLeaks were over, you were very, very wrong. The latest report implicates DStv owner MultiChoice in a “questionable payment” to the Gupta over ANN7.

News24 reports that MultiChoice made a R25 million payment to ANN7. Additionally, MultiChoice upped its annual payment to ANN7 from R50m to R141m. The payments came after the Gupta’s were said to have assisted former communications minister Faith Muthambi with getting President Zuma to transfer certain broadcasting powers to her.  This is something MultiChoice was lobbying Muthambi for.

After the transfer of power was completed,  Muthambi caused controversy by pushing through a decision which favours unencrypted set-top boxes. Another decision that benefitted MultiChoice. The move was especially controversial as Muthambi’s stance went against the ANC’s, which supported encryption in order to promote competition in the sector.

A lengthy court battle then took place and the Constitutional Court eventually ruled that Muthambi was within her right to make decisions like that. News24 and the other Gupta Leaks journalists reached out to MultiChoice who flat out “ rejected the insinuations in the strongest possible terms”.

The News24 report breaks down some of the allegations as follows.

 – MultiChoice executive Clarissa Mack (who had since resigned) sent policy documents directly to Muthambi, who shared them with Gupta lieutenant Ashu Chawla, setting out proposals for Zuma to transfer broadcasting powers back to Muthambi after he split the communications portfolio into two departments in 2014;

– In September 2015, six months after Muthambi confirmed there would be no encryption, MultiChoice increased its annual payment to the Guptas’ controversial ANN7 channel from R50m to R141m – at a time when the channel had failed to win a significant slice of DStv’s news audience, and whilst the channel received widespread criticism over the quality of its content;

 – MultiChoice CEO Imtiaz Patel was once a director of a company with the youngest Gupta brother, Tony, and Zuma’s son Duduzane. Patel says his appointment was done without his permission, and CIPC records show that he resigned from the company on the same day he was appointed.

MultiChoice have also been in the news this week for paying the Guptas R50m per anum for ANN7. There is also currently a movement by OUTA and other South Africans calling on DStv to axe ANN7.

Read full story at The South African