Monday, February 18, 2013

BREAKING. Shocked Cosatu 'betrayed' by TopTV's second attempt to launch 24-hour pornographic TV channels in South Africa.

South Africa's largest trade union federation is shocked and feels betrayed by TopTV's new porn plan and the pay-TV operator's second attempt to launch three 24-hour pornographic TV channels in South Africa as a separate porn bouquet.

On Digital Media (ODM) which runs the TopTV pay-TV service, wants to run three 24-hour pornographic TV channels - Playboy TV, Desire TV and Private Spice - as a separate bouquet with a separate subscription which will all have an R18 classification.

Zwelinzima Vavi, secretary general of Cosatu, speaking on Thursday evening at the opening of parliament, said that TopTV is making its second porn application at South Africa's broadcasting regulator "without any permission from us".

Yet Cosatu is a shareholder in TopTV through Kepano ke Matla Investment which is an investor in TopTV. Cosatu is Kopano ke Matla's sole beneficiary.

TopTV's new porn plan, a year after it was denied by the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) drew a record number of responses from the public, civil society and South Africa's TV industry - the most ever for an application for authorisation for a TV channel.

TopTV's public hearing - the same hearing TopTV refused to attend for its own porn application a year ago which was eventually turned down by Icasa - is now set for 14 March. Icasa says a venue is not yet know but it will probably take place at Icasa's head office and anyone would be welcome to attend.

Zwelinzima Vavi is shocked at TopTV's new porn plan. Zwelinzima Vavi said on Thursday evening that Cosatu "got them [TopTV] to agree that they're not going to pursue that matter, and that in particular that if Icasa was to make a determination to the negative of the matter, that they won't pursue it further."

"We have to go back and talk to them because Kopano ke Matla have shares in TopTV and we can't have Cosatu's name dragged into ponds," said Zwelinzima Vavi.

"On 14 March we will certainly send a delegation, we reject that [plan] all together."

"Even if Kopano sneaks behind our backs and go and make another application we stand opposed to any introduction of porn whether one minute or 24 hours on television."

Zwelinzima Vavi said it something Cosatu "cannot be associated with".