Minister calls for investigation into MultiChoice, ANN7 corruption claims

Communications Minister Mamaloko Kubayi-Ngubane says her department will not fold its arms amid allegations of corruption implicating MultiChoice and TV channel ANN7.

FILE: Minister of Communications Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Communications Minister Mamaloko Kubayi-Ngubane says that her department will not fold its arms amid allegations of corruptions implicating MultiChoice and TV channel ANN7.

The latest instalment of the Gupta leaks has revealed how a questionable payment of R25 million was paid to the Gupta-linked channel.

It’s also claimed that a 2015 document shows that MultiChoice more than tripled its annual payment to ANN7 to R141 million after Faith Muthambi pushed through legislation that benefitted MultiChoice.

But the pay TV provider insists there was nothing sinister about the deal.

Kubayi-Ngubane says speculation around this matter should stop and there should be a proper investigation.

“If there are corruption activities, there are departments that are responsible to deal with issues around allegations of corruption.

“Surely we’d not fold our arms and say 'no, this thing should not have happened', but it must be investigated so that there’s clarity on that.”

Kubayi says she won't speculate about whether a deal between ANN7 and MultiChoice was corrupt and has instead called on anyone with proof to come forward.

The Communications Minister says that she met with ANN7 and MultiChoice to discuss the allegations which they have both denied.

“I have engaged them individually to ask for myself if there are valid issues we should be worried about from a point of broadcasting policy point of view. It’s not a matter of encryption and none encryption.

“We went as far as the Constitutional Court, now I have no way of doubting the Constitutional Court.”

Meanwhile, Media Monitoring Africa’s Director William Bird says Muthambi must take the blame for most of what happened.

“She denied to come and she didn’t answer to the Luthuli House when she was called and Parliament asked her to come but she failed repeatedly. And this is the culmination of these things.”

Outa has called on ANN7 and management at MultiChoice to come clean and provide all facts related to the transactions.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has given MultiChoice 48 hours to publicly release the full details of the contract it entered with ANN7 and all the records prior to the contract negotiations.

Spokesperson Phumzile van Damme says: “In August this year, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament requested that the communications committee begin an investigation or an inquiry into state capture, particularly relating to allegations around Faith Muthambi. We believe that inquiry is now long overdue.”