Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says in the state capture report that allegations that the SABC entered into contracts with the Gupta-owned The New Age newspaper will be probed in the next phase of the investigation.
Madonsela, in her swansong report, said that, during the course of the investigation, EFF leader Julius Malema was interviewed, specifically to “solicit any evidence in support of statements attributed to him in the media relating to the influence of members of the Gupta family”.
“During the said interview, Mr Malema made the following allegations relating to SABC: That the SABC, previously allowed government departments to communicate with the nation at no cost. This includes instances where Ministers required air time in order to make announcements and launch campaigns…”
Malema also said that the “SABC has since entered into a partnership agreement with the New Age newspaper and government departments, including Ministers are required to pay either SABC, New Age newspaper and/or the relevant partnership to appear on SABC for purposes of communication with the nation.”
Madonsela said the allegations were confirmed by Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula during an interview with him for the investigation.
“Following the above allegations, I have decided to investigate any contract(s) awarded to the New Age newspaper and/or TNA Media by the SABC. The investigation into SABC will however form part of the next phase of the investigation,” Madonsela said.