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MultiChoice: ANN7 to be taken off DStv

During a briefing on Wednesday, CEO Calvo Mawela made the announcement.

Multichoice management briefs the media on the outcome of the review into their relationship with ANN7. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – MultiChoice has announced that it will not be renewing ANN7’s contract when it expires in August.

Instead, MultiChoice will be looking for a new black-owned TV channel.

During a briefing on Wednesday, CEO Calvo Mawela said they made mistakes in the past and added there was no corruption.

“Mistakes were made, with regards to lobbying process and failure to do due diligence, but there was no evidence of corruption or illegal activity.”

Mawela says following their internal investigation, they apologise for the mistakes that were made regarding its relationship with ANN7.

"In light of the ongoing controversies, it will not be appropriate to renew ANN7's current contract when it ends in August. Instead, we are starting the process of looking for a new black-owned news channel."

He adds payments made to ANN7 and other TV channels were not abnormal and had nothing to do with its stance on digital migration.

MultiChoice continues to believe that the wide range of foreign and local news channels on its platform, representing widely divergent views, needs to be supplemented with another local voice.

PROBE

The announcement by MultiChoice comes after the DA said an investigation by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) was underway.

The party lodged a complaint with the authority in November in 2017.

Icasa will be investigating MultiChoice over allegations of the payments made to the South African Broadcast Corporation (SABC) and Gupta-linked ANN7.

It emerged that MultiChoice made the payment, allegedly in exchange for political influence over government policy on digital migration in its favour.

Meanwhile, Media Monitoring Africa's William Bird says ANN7 failed multiple times to adhere to standard journalistic principles.

“The way you would critique ANN7 would be that they said they would adhere to principles of journalism, but there were examples that they didn’t. This is why MultiChoice has taken the decision to not renew the contract.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

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