Koos Bekker did lobby me on encryption – Yunus Carrim

Former minister says the ex-Naspers CEO seemed annoyed that he couldn’t see how brilliant he is

Brief statement by ANC MP Yunus Carrim, former Communications Minister, on Naspers and MultiChoice’s role in changing government policy on digital encryption

In its response to the Mail & Guardian, Naspers states:

“A suggestion by ex-communications minister Yunus Carrim that Koos Bekker once met with him regarding encryption is perfectly accurate. Here are the facts: this meeting took place in Pretoria and was for the full duration also attended by Minister Pravin Gordhan, whom we greatly respect. Minister Gordhan can attest to the content of the meeting and whether any Gupta-related or any other illegal matter was discussed.”

I did not refer to any specific meeting or who was there. Nor did I say or even hint that anything Gupta-related or illegal was discussed at the meeting.

To link my comments to those calling for the removal of ANN7 from DSTV is rather disingenuous.

Mr Bekker conveniently forgets the meeting we had in Cape Town within a month of my appointment which he requested and MultiChoice CEO, Imtiaz Patel several times urged. Bekker’s main purpose was to persuade me about the folly of set top box encryption, and seemed irritated that I would not agree with him and chose instead to refer the conflicts about it to a mediation process to seek a compromise.

Because Mr Bekker served on major government ICT panels and had done very well in media industry, he almost saw himself as an advisor to me as somebody new to the sector. And yet because of his vested profit and other interests in the pay-TV sector he obviously couldn’t play any such role. He seemed annoyed that I couldn’t see how brilliant he is.

He forgets too our telephonic exchanges.

It’s bizarre to suggest that Bekker was hands-off from MultiChoice’s vigorous campaign to change government policy on encryption. 

Statement issued by Yunus Carrim, 1 December 2017