South Africa: Yunus Carrim Claims Multichoice Cost South Africa Dearly - At Koos Bekker's Behest


Former communications minister Yunus Carrim has described the 'bullying' tactics used by MultiChoice to protect its monopoly over the country's pay-TV sector. Carrim has also revealed the extent of the 'smear campaign' he alleges MultiChoice mounted against him -- for which he believes Naspers boss Koos Bekker owes him a personal apology.

The Zondo commission heard on Monday how pay-TV giant MultiChoice undertook what former communications minister Yunus Carrim described as "regulatory or policy capture" in order to ensure that government policy on digital migration would not harm MultiChoice's monopoly over the pay-TV sector.

From 2008, it had been government policy that the migration from analogue to digital TV broadcasting in South Africa should be accompanied by the introduction of encrypted set-top boxes. The institution of encryption capacity in set-top boxes would have meant that other broadcasters would be able to implement high-quality paid programming.

This was an obvious challenge to MultiChoice -- at that stage owned by media giant Naspers, though since unbundled in 2019.

"The pay-TV sector was dominated 98% by MultiChoice and Naspers," Carrim told the State Capture inquiry.

The official ANC position on the debate when Carrim became communications minister in July 2013 was that it...

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