R500-million Multichoice deal behind SABC “purge”: report

A controversial deal between the SABC and Multichoice is said to be the cause of a recent spate of exits on the public broadcaster’s board, The Sunday Times reported.

According to the paper, several SABC board members are in the crosshairs for opposing the controversial R500-million deal with Multichoice.

Specifically, the paper mentions Hope Zinde, who was given the boot this week after she reportedly clashed with acting board chairman, Professor Mbulaheni Maguvhe, over the deal.

Other members cited by “insiders”, the Sunday Times said, include Rachel Kalidass, Krish Naidoo, Dr Aaron Tshidzumba and Vuyo Mhlakaza.

On Thursday (12 March) it was reported that the SABC board passed a vote of no confidence in Zinde, a non-executive director, and removed her from the post.

The board had met to discuss the conduct of some of its members.

“The allegations levelled against them include… fraudulent conduct, raising matters of the board externally without a mandate and non-disclosure of conflict of interest,” it said in a statement.

The contract in question is between Multichoice and the SABC to provide a 24 hour news channel on the DStv pay-tv service.

The deal also put the SABC on MultiChoice’s side on the set top box control saga, which has drawn criticism and debate from all sectors involved in the much-delayed digital migration.

The deal – which includes controversial clauses on access control and broadcasting rights – was approved by an interim board and disgraced former minister of communications, Dina Pule, and signed by COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.

According the Sunday Times’ insiders, Zinde and her allies are seen as an obstacle and not loyal to Motsoeneng by opposing the deal.

The full story can be found in the Sunday Times for 15 March 2015.

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R500-million Multichoice deal behind SABC “purge”: report