Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thousands of concerned DStv subscribers want clarity from MultiChoice boss Mark Rayner on DStv's continued business with the slanted ANN7 channel, says OUTA.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) in a letter to MultiChoice boss Mark Rayner says thousands of concerned DStv subscribers want the pay-TV platform to drop the Gupta-linked ANN7 (DStv 405) that is associated with biased content and slanted reporting.

Outa wrote to Mark Rayner, questioning MultiChoice's "morality of DStv's continued business transactions with ANN7", and asking Mark Rayner to please respond on behalf of MultiChoice to the "growing demand for clarity of your organisation's position with ANN7".

MultiChoice was asked for comment about Outa's open letter to Mark Rayner about clarity on MultiChoice's position on ANN7.

MultiChoice says "we confirm that we received the letter from Outa. We've contacted them and we'll be meeting them next week to discuss their concerns."

Outa CEO Wayne Duvenhage says DStv subscribers are forced to pay for ANN7 and are directly funding the channel.

Further leaked emails from the Gupta leaks last week shed further light on the insider contract negotiations and dealings between MultiChoice and ANN7.

Hundreds of millions of rand of DStv subscribers' money is being paid by MultiChoice to the channel known for its distorted news coverage with ANN7 that that has been accused of inciting racial division in South Africa.

Unrelated to Outa's open letter, so far more than 12 500 DStv subscribers have signed an online petition at, that wasn't started by Outa, demanding and explaining why they want MultiChoice to dump ANN7 and that they don't want to be forced to pay for the slanted channel that they say is damaging South Africa.

MultiChoice as a pay-TV service is supposed to keep clients happy. It's not clear what exactly MultiChoice is doing about the thousands of DStv subscribers who are vocally complaining about ANN7.

Outa says ANN7 was "allegedly initiated with taxpayers' money and set up to support a political bias driven by the politically connected Gupta family".

"We believe the recent actions to cease doing business with Gupta companies by the banking institutions and and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange - ostensibly due to the Gupta family's deep involvement in State Capture and alleged money laundering - is sufficient for DStv to review its "business as usual" stance with ANN7."

Outa says "adding weight to this call is the growing dissatisfaction of ANN7's seemingly biased content and slanted reporting on current political affairs."

Outa says "ANN7 peddles 'fake news' and pro-Zuma propaganda, with the channel openly attacking those who take umbrage on matters of State Capture and corruption linked to Jacob Zuma,his family and friends."

"We remind you of the plight suffered by Bell Pottinger, KPMG, SAP, McKinsey and others, who believed that hiding behind confidentiality and contractual clauses would suffice as reason to continue their unacceptable conduct."

Outa is pleading with MultiChoice "to do the right thing" and to heed "the call by civil society, for greater transparency and decisive action against entities that conduct themselves in a manner that minimises South Africa's prosperity".