EDITORIAL: Naspers cannot wash its hands
These are no ordinary times and Naspers is no ordinary company
Naspers CEO Bob van Dijk’s attempt to pass the buck for DStv’s arrangement with the Gupta-linked ANN7 news channel is disingenuous. While it may be technically arguable that a continuation of the arrangement is a matter for the board of DStv operator MultiChoice, Van Dijk’s assertion that it is inappropriate for Naspers to intervene is nonsense. In the first instance, it is the Naspers board’s duty to oversee the commercial performance of its 80%-owned subsidiary’s endeavours. If Van Dijk does not see that ANN7 is a commercial disaster — that it is nothing but a propaganda device for Gupta-linked government and business entities — he is looking the other way. MultiChoice has already poured millions of rand into its special relationship with ANN7 and intends keeping it up, while it is patently obvious the news channel will draw neither viewers nor revenue to DStv. In any decently run business, this would be case closed. If there is more to the matter, though — that is, if MultiChoice...
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