BLSA concerned over corruption allegations against MultiChoice
Johannesburg – Lobby group Business Leadership South Africa said on Thursday it was gravely concerned over reports implicating its member, satellite TV company MultiChoice, in graft.
South Africa's main opposition party the Democratic Alliance (DA) has said minutes of a board meeting at public broadcaster SABC show that MultiChoice, the biggest pay-TV provider in Africa, sought to pay it R100 million for its 24-hour news channel in exchange for political influence over digital migration.
Multichoice also faces accusations that it paid news channel ANN7, then owned by the controversial Gupta family, millions of rand in exchange for similar influence over the government's position on the introduction of encrypted set-top boxes.
“BLSA is gravely concerned about recent media reports of alleged state capture and corruption against one of its members, MultiChoice, in its dealings with government and its content suppliers,” the grouping said in a statement.
“BLSA can confirm that it has initiated discussions with MultiChoice regarding the allegations as reported in the media.”
MultiChoice says it is looking into whether there have been any corporate governance failures at the company.
The wealthy Gupta brothers have faced a backlash over allegations of using their close ties with President Jacob Zuma to wield inappropriate political influence and amass wealth in South Africa.
Zuma denies that his relationship with the family is corrupt.