Much dust has been kicked up over the MultiChoice agreements with the SABC and the Guptas’ ANN7 television news channel. These parties allegedly colluded in a form of state capture and corruption to their mutual benefit. The payoff for MultiChoice was that the government’s digital migration policy on encryption was fixed around their position, while the SABC and ANN7 had their 24-hour news channels funded and carried on MultiChoice’s DStv platform. But this explanation is not the whole story. Let’s assume former president Jacob Zuma wanted to control all electronic broadcast news in SA. In 2013, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, then acting SABC chief operating officer, said that SABC news had to have at least 70% good-news stories. Then talk-show anchor Jimmy Manyi was promoting "sunshine" news on ANN7. Zuma’s allies at the state broadcaster — Ben Ngubane and Motsoeneng — facilitated access to the SABC for the New Age newspaper’s breakfasts, hosted by the Guptas, which promoted the views of cabin...

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