Ann Crotty Writer-at-large
Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Minutes of a high-level 2013 meeting between South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) executives and MultiChoice suggest the Naspers pay-TV subsidiary tried to use a R500m payment for an SABC news channel as cover to secure influence over government policy on encryption.

Analysts said MultiChoice saw encryption as a threat to its dominance of the pay-TV market and the company was determined to reverse government policy and ensure set-top boxes were not encrypted.

MultiChoice’s South African operations generate hefty and much-needed cash flows for Naspers. At the time of the meeting the government’s policy was to back encryption.

The release of the minutes has fuelled growing calls for a probe into MultiChoice’s relationship with ANN7 and the national broadcaster.

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