Mozambique: Digital Migration - Mozambique Achieves in Two Years, South Africa Fails in Ten

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If you want to cut through the meandos, ask an engineer. The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture heard on 12 September how what should have been a simple migration process to Digital Terrestrial Television was hobbled by greed, ignorance, political interference and corporate sleight of hand.

While former SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng might be under the impression that MultiChoice "got nothing" from a 2013 deal he signed on behalf of the SABC with the pay channel operator, it appears Motsoeneng was played like the proverbial cheap violin.

Testifying for the third day at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Motsoeneng set out the tactics he had deployed at a 5.30am meeting with Imtiaz Patel, then group chief executive MultiChoice, including using fake legal threats and later sports rights to try to leverage the deal.

The SABC had plans to establish a 24-hour news channel but would have needed R778-million to set it up and run it for four years. The idea was canned in 2013, but it was one of Motsoeneng's intended "legacy" projects, supported by then-board chair, Ellen Tshabalala.

Asked by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo what MultiChoice had got out of the deal, Motsoeneng...

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