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R2K seeks inquiry into payments MultiChoice allegedly made to SABC, ANN7

The organisation says these payments appear to be kickbacks to influence government policy on digital migration.

FILE: Supporters of the Right to Know (R2K) campaign picketing outside the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Picture: Shayne Robinson.

PRETORIA - While MultiChoice has denied paying off the SABC to support its bid for unencrypted set-top boxes, the Right2Know Campaign says it will lodge a formal complaint with the Public Protector.

Minutes of a 2013 meeting were divulged this week, suggesting the TV service paid the public broadcaster R100 million for its 24-hour news channel in exchange for political influence over digital migration.

Right to Know says it will lodge a formal complaint with the Public Protector as well as ask Parliament’s communications committee to launch an inquiry into payments MultiChoice made to both the SABC and ANN7.

The organisation says these payments appear to be kickbacks to influence government policy on digital migration.

R2K says former Communications Minister Faith Muthambi is at the centre of the controversy as it appears she went against the African National Congress policy and pushed ahead with a decision favourable to MultiChoice.

This was later set aside in court.

Meanwhile, MultiChoice has rejected suggestions that the 2013 meeting with the SABC was untoward, saying nothing unlawful was discussed.