MULTICHOICE will be reported to the Competition Commission for anti- competitive conduct worth billions.
This is according to National Association for Manufacturers in Electronic Components (NAMEC) in a press statement today.
This follows allegations that Multichoice- a monopoly in the pay television space – got the then Minister of Communications Faith Mutambi- to unlawfully prevail over the State President to delegate powers that led to her pronouncing and implementing a policy on non- encryption that was to the benefit of Multichoice.
Given the contract between SABC and Multichoice senior executives who signed a deal that ceded a public asset in the form of SABC archives to a privately-owned broadcaster, NAMEC will also report the matter to the Independent Communications Authority for proper investigation and appropriate action.
It calls for the cancellation of the between the SABC and Multichoice, and monies that have corruptly changed hands should be swiftly recovered and those implicated in this impropriety should be brought to book.
“We will be reporting this misdemeanour to the Independent Communications Authority (ICASA) for appropriate sanctions to be applied,” says NAMEC in a media statement.
“The National Association for Manufacturers in Electronic Componen ts is gutted by the recent revelations that Multichoice improperly influenced the erstwhile Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, to proclaim a policy that entrenched its dominance at the expense of new black entrants,” continued the statement.
NAMEC is one of the foremost proponents of encryption as this system allows for protection of the intellectual property (IP) of producers and other players in the creative industries in the country.
“Given a myriad of opportunities that include bridging the digital gap by opening access to more people especially in a developing economy like ours and the economic spinoffs that digital migration offers, it is criminal that the corrupt and greedy have seen it best that our country miss the digital migration deadline as set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and in the process not only compromise our country’s public standing but also the financial well-being of emerging black electronic components manufacturers.”
NAMEC also pointed out that some of its executives involved in the deal will be penalized and will approach the Portfolio Committee on Communications, to petition it to conduct a full inquiry on the conduct of all implicated whilst they enquire from the law enforcement agencies on progress on their investigations regarding the charges that were pressed against those implicated.
It says it will also approach the ANC at the forthcoming National Elective Conference to set tight timelines on the rapid rollout of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) and will have a meeting with the minister of Communications Mamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, on the said matters.