Yunus Carrim hits back at Naspers over SABC, MultiChoice saga

Carrim says he has no doubt that MultiChoice and Naspers were involved in trying to change government's position on set-top boxes.

FILE: Former Communications Minister Yunus Carrim. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Communications Minister Yunus Carrim has hit back at Naspers, saying it's bizarre to suggest that its CEO Koos Bekker was hands-off in MultiChoice’s campaign to change government's digital migration plan.

Naspers, which owns a large portion of MultiChoice issued a statement on Friday, saying the persistent baiting of the group to intervene in the affairs of MultiChoice is unconducive to an open democracy.

MultiChoice has been accused of paying millions to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and ANN7, formerly owned by the Guptas, in exchange for political influence in the ongoing digital migration saga.

Carrim says he has no doubt that MultiChoice and Naspers were involved in trying to change government's position on set-top boxes.

“I absolutely have no doubt that Naspers, Mr Bekker in particular, and MultiChoice had a big hand in changing government policy. The clause in that MultiChoice and SABC agreement that refers to the need for SABC to support the dropping of encryption was done to influence government policy.”