First published in HuffingtonPost South Africa, 27/11/2017
Civil society groups are demanding that pay-TV giant MultiChoice come clean on its contractual dealings with Gupta-linked channel, ANN7, amid claims of a corrupt relationship with former communications minister Faith Muthambi.
Last week, News24 reported that MultiChoice allegedly made a once-off payment of R25 million to ANN7 — which the Guptas sold in August to Mzwanele Manyi — and increased its annual payment to the broadcaster from R50 million to R141 million.
Media Monitoring Africa director William Bird said although professional lobbying is common around the world, MultiChoice should have been wary of the current political climate around state capture.
“[Muthambi] was doing her own thing. [Zuma] split the communications portfolio in two… It was the perfect opportunity for MultiChoice to step in with their lobbying. Professional lobbying is common around the world so we cannot think it was only MultiChoice doing it.”
Bird said the company should have been more mindful of the Guptas and their links to state capture.