There was nothing illegal about the SABC meeting – MultiChoice
MultiChoice has released a statement regarding the controversy surrounding its meeting with the SABC board in 2013. The minutes of an SABC board meeting published by the DA implied that MultiChoice wanted the SABC to agree to keep its channels unencrypted. The DA alleged that MultiChoice paid kickbacks to the SABC to the tune of R100 million per year for its support on encryption standards.
MultiChoice South Africa executive chairman Nolo Letele said the meeting was a normal commercial negotiation and there was nothing untoward about the communication. “I attended that meeting – it was certainly not secret and there is nothing illegal or improper in those minutes,” said Letele. MultiChoice said the meeting was not clandestine and was recorded and conducted similar to other SABC board meetings.
The company said the implication that MultiChoice made corrupt payments to the SABC for its support on non-encryption of set-top boxes is false and stems from conversation surrounding a normal negotiation discussion taken out of context. “From the minutes it’s clear that the decision on encryption was not one the SABC could make,” said MultiChoice. During the meeting, MultiChoice said it was acknowledged that the decision on encryption was a government decision and that the SABC had no power over it.
“MultiChoice has a long-standing relationship with the SABC dating back to the early 1980’s,” said the company.
“The parties have bought and sold content from and to each other for many years, and will continue to do so.”