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US law firm launches probe into MultiChoice, news channels saga

MultiChoice has been accused of paying millions to the SABC and ANN7 in exchange for political influence in the ongoing digital migration matter.

Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The MultiChoice saga has now attracted an international investigation and a possible class action lawsuit while Icasa is still deciding whether or not to probe the multi-million rand payments to news channels.

MultiChoice has been accused of paying millions to the SABC and ANN7, formerly owned by the Guptas, in exchange for political influence in the ongoing digital migration matter.

Naspers, which owns a large portion of MultiChoice, issued a statement last Friday, saying the persistent baiting for the group to intervene in the affairs of MultiChoice is not conducive to an open democracy.

Shares in Naspers were down 4% on Tuesday.

US law firm Pomerantz has launched a probe on behalf of shareholders.

TV critic and journalist Thinus Ferreira said: “This law firm is now doing their own investigation and going straight to Naspers and they’re asking them whether they want to join the possible class action lawsuit in America. Naspers is obviously an international company.”

Meanwhile, former Communications Minister Yunus Carrim says he has no doubt that Naspers and MultiChoice tried to sway government on the digital migration matter.

At the same time, African National Congress national executive committee member Jackson Mthembu says he supports calls for an independent investigation.

“Because if you want to benefit and you then want to influence government policy towards your benefit as a private citizen, or corporate citizen - indeed you might be trying to capture the state.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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