Nolo Letele: Nothing illegal, improper discussed in meeting with SABC

MultiChoice is accused of attempting to pay the SABC R100 million for its 24-hour news channel in exchange for a hand in the set-top boxes.

Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - MultiChoice executive chairman Nolo Letele says the company’s meeting with the SABC was not a secret and nothing illegal or improper was revealed in the recently discovered minutes.

The satellite television service provider has been accused of attempting to pay the public broadcaster R100 million for its 24-hour news channel in exchange for political influence over digital migration.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has referred the matter to Icasa for further investigation.

Letele says he attended the meeting in 2013 and is adamant nothing untoward or unlawful was discussed.

Contrary to several reports, he insists that the meeting was not clandestine, that it was held at the request of the public broadcaster and that it was recorded.

Letele says inferences were incorrectly drawn from the minutes to suggest that MultiChoice would help the SABC in exchange for its support on the non-encryption of set-top boxes.

He adds that it is clear from the minutes that the decision on encryption was not one the SABC could make.

Letele concludes by saying MultiChoice has a long-standing relationship with the broadcaster and will continue this relationship.

Minutes of the Meeting Betweenthe Board and Multichoice 6 June 2013 by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

Meanwhile, the DA has called for three former communications ministers and top executives from MultiChoice and Naspers to be called to account in Parliament.

DA MP Phumzile van Damme was speaking in the National Assembly earlier on Thursday.

“Former Communications Minister Mr Yunus Carrim was quoted in the media saying that MultiChoice was seeking to change government policy to serve its own interests, and that he felt it wrong for a private company to seek to buy government policy in this way.”