Multichoice's decision to drop ANN7 suspicious – COSATU

Federation says worker livelihoods being compromised through waging of narrow battles

COSATU statement on the decision by Multi-choice not to renew their contract with ANN7

31 January 2018

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted with concern the decision by Multi-choice not to renew their contract with television channel ANN7 because of their alleged failure to perform due diligence. The federation finds this decision suspicious, hypocritical and deeply regrettable because it will result in ANN7 possibly retrenching some of their workers because of loss of revenue. We have reasons to suspect that Multi-choice’s decision was conveniently political and that they succumbed to the pressure that has been exerted by a litany of lobbyists.

Workers livelihoods are now being compromised because some people and lobbyists are waging their narrow battles. Despite all the furore surrounding ANN7 and Multi-choice ,we caution everyone to remember that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We should all guard against allowing speculation and paranoia to drive us into an age of unreason.

COSATU has butted heads with the management and owners of ANN7 on more than one occasion. In fact the COSATU 12th National Congress voted ANN7 as the “Worst Employer”.  We have also strongly disagreed with what we considered to be their slanted and sometimes outrageous coverage. Indeed, we have despaired at their propensity to push outlandish conspiracy theories promoted by some paid up eccentrics masquerading as serious commentators.

Despite all of this, we have defended and continue to defend their right to exist because we proclaim ourselves, as indeed we are, the defenders of freedom. The federation deeply resent this emerging fallacy of composition, where it has become easy to dismiss or attempt to shutdown an entire organisation as unsuitable on the grounds of one or two components we don't like or disagree with.

COSATU shall be engaging with its affiliate the Communication Workers Union about this latest decision by Multi-choice. We shall defend the interests of the workers and also deal with this lingering and unresolved  issue of the monopoly that is enjoyed by Multi-choice. Multi-choice will continue to do as they please because they are a monopoly but this cannot go unchallenged. If there was an illegal business relationship between these two organisations , we need to allow the law enforcement agencies to investigate and expose that without jumping to conclusions.

Issued by Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 31 January 2018