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GuptaLeaks: MultiChoice increased ANN7's annual payments to over R140m

AmaBhungane is reporting that in September 2015, MultiChoice paid millions of rands to ANN7 and increased its annual payment significantly.

The MultiChoice offices in Randburg, Johannesburg. Picture: multichoice.co.za

JOHANNESBURG - In a week that saw calls for ANN7 to be taken off the DStv pay channel, it's been revealed that MultiChoice made a dodgy payment of R25 million to the Gupta-owned TV station.

According to the latest GuptaLeaks, MultiChoice also increased its annual payment to ANN7 from R50 million to just over a R140 million.

AmaBhungane’s reporting that in September 2015, MultiChoice paid millions of rands to ANN7 and increased its annual payment significantly.

This happened at a time when the channel was trying to win a slice of DStv's news audience but was faced with teething problems and being heavily criticised for the quality of its content.

It's reported the questionable payments took place following a transfer of powers, where then Communications Minister Faith Muthambi controversially pushed through a decision in favour of unencrypted set-top boxes, which benefited Multichoice.

Earlier this year, the Constitutional Court ruled that it was within Muthambi's right to make policy decisions affecting the broadcasting sector.

In its response to the leaks, MultiChoice has denied there is any relationship between the policy outcome in its favour and payments made to ANN7.

At the same time, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse says ANN7’s contract with MultiChoice should not be renewed but this call has been slammed by those saying it would amount to censorship.

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