‘Muthambi went against ANC, alliance on digital migration’

Blade Nzimande says he doesn’t know why Minister Faith Muthambi chose to defy her own party.

SACP general secretary Blade Nzimande. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (Sacp) leader and Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says he doesn't know why Communications Minister Faith Muthambi has gone against African National Congress (ANC) and alliance decisions on digital terrestrial television.

But he says he does know that Naspers and Dstv have been lobbying hard behind the scenes on the issue.

Last month the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) overturned Muthambi's decision to use an un-encrypted digital system after Etv said that using that system would make it impossible for it broadcast high quality content.

The ANC had previously decided it would go for an encrypted system, but the minister then appeared to defy that decision.

Nzimande says he doesn't know why Muthambi has chosen to defy her own party.

"We know that Naspers and Multichoice have been lobbying very hard, but I'm not saying it's as a result of that lobbying that he has done that, but we know that they have been lobbying very very hard in order to keep their monopoly. That's why monopolies are dangerous."

He says its wrong that a court has now had to intervene.

"It's very unfortunate that it's the SCA that must reinstate what was originally the position of the ANC.

Minister Muthambi has said the court's decision doesn't mean her roll-out of un-encrypted digital TV must stop.

WATCH: Blade Nzimande: ANC risks imploding if it continues to change leaders