The acting chairperson of the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) has allegedly lost her permanent chairperson position because she did not approve a Gupta bid.
In March, the telecoms regulator refused Infinity Media Network an individual commercial free-to-air broadcasting licence due to “non-compliance with the ITA and provisions of the ECA”.
Infinity Media Network, which owns ANN7, has many high-profile shareholders, including Oakbay Investments (the Gupta family’s investment vehicle) and Mabengela Investments (of which Duduzane Zuma holds a 45% stake).
The Sunday Times reported that former Icasa acting chairwoman Vuyo Batyi lost her promised job as Icasa chairperson because she would not bend to pressure from Communications Minister Faith Muthambi to approve a Gupta bid for a free-to-air 24-hour news channel.
According to the report, Muthambi backtracked on her decision to appoint Batyi as chairwoman because of the Infinity Media Network licence decision.
“Batyi confirmed this week she was taking legal action against Muthambi for failing to appoint her as chairwoman of Icasa, despite having given her a letter of appointment,” the Sunday Times reported.
The full report is available in the Sunday Times of 31 July 2016.