Minister won’t be investigating Multichoice and ANN7 deal

The Minister of Communications, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane issued a statement on Wednesday in which she claimed that media reports saying she will call for a probe into alleged corruption linked to payments made by Multichoice to ANN7 TV are factually incorrect.

Kubayi-Ngubane reiterated that the Department of Communications cannot get involved on contractual issues between two private parties, and would only engage on broadcasting policy related matters.

“There are relevant authorities of government that are competent to deal with any crime or corruption related matters,” said Kubayi-Ngubane.

“Members of the public are encouraged to follow the right channels to report any criminal activities.

“Furthermore, Minister has noted the media reports on the purported decision by lobby groups for Multichoice to remove ANN7 from DSTV. Minister Kubayi-Ngubane cannot be party to such engagement. However, it is the Minister’s wish to categorically indicate that such act or move is against the prescript of our Constitution.

“While noting the fundamental importance of a Constitutional right to freedom of expression, lobby groups have no right to remove any media house from broadcasting networks.”

The announcement follows the publication of SABC board minutes dated 6 June 2013 by the DA, which it claims suggest that Multichoice sought to pay the SABC R100 million for its 24-hour news channel in exchange for the public broadcaster’s political influence over digital migration.

The minutes form part of hundreds of documents provided by the SABC in December 2016 to the Ad Hoc Committee on the SABC Inquiry, and appears to support allegations in reports last week that Multichoice paid Gupta-owned ANN7 millions in exchange for similar influence over government’s position on set-top boxes, the DA said.

Read: New evidence suggests Multichoice may have paid R100 million to influence TV laws: DA

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Minister won’t be investigating Multichoice and ANN7 deal