MultiChoice: So Guptas were working hand-in-glove with WMC - EFF

Fighters say DSTV paid unreasonable sums for ANN7 given its low audience numbers


Friday, November 24, 2017

The EFF condemns the corrupt relations of Multichoice and Minister Faith Muthambi which suppressed competition within the pay television industry with disgust. The recent revelations in the Gupta Leaks show how Faith Muthambi as Minister of Communications worked with the Guptas to solicit bribes in exchange for protection of Multichoice from the competition. Koos Bekker's company, Multichoice paid millions to the Guptas, through ANN7, in exchange for Muthambi to adopt the policy of unencryption in the set-top boxes for digital terrestrial television migration. 

Muthambi essentially helped sustain and keep the domination of Multichoice which is a solely white-owned company in the pay television sector. The revelations show how executives of Multichoice rewrote government policy of DTT working with the Guptas who guaranteed them their influence on Zuma and Muthambi. 

This is yet another proof that government corruption is in the interest of maintaining white monopoly capital, and not about destroying it. The Guptas, through their influence on Zuma and Muthambi, managed to guarantee their stay on the DSTV platform whilst being remunerated unreasonable amounts of money despite their low audience numbers. It is clear that Multichoice was paying them for securing a DTT policy in relation to set-top boxes that would maintain them as the sole players in the pay television space. 

The EFF calls on Parliament to hold an inquiry into the Gupta influence over Minister of Communications. In this enquiry, companies like Multichoice must be held accountable publicly for their criminal activities in the sector, suppressing competition in favour of their domination. 

The EFF will also be reporting Multichoice to the Competition Commission to investigate how they influenced the policy on set-top boxes in favour of their market domination. 

It is not a secret that Multichoice was started through money attained by media work that sustained apartheid by Naspers. Today, we learn that they continue to feed on unethical conduct to remain on top. Naspers is one of the companies that has resisted transformation, as it is completely white-owned. Parliament must intervene through an inquiry and end its years of unethical domination of the pay television market. 

Statement issued by the Economic Freedom Fighters, 24 November 2017