Recent reports state that MultiChoice made direct submissions to former Communications Minister Faith Muthambi regarding her role and responsibilities.
The proposals were made in July 2014, weeks after President Jacob Zuma reshuffled his cabinet and created the ministry of telecommunications and postal services.
Zuma issued a presidential proclamation shifting certain powers of the Minister of Communications to the Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services.
Everything to do with broadcasting and telecommunications would reside within the telecommunications department, while matters such as government communications and content regulation would remain with Muthambi.
The separation wasn’t made clear when it came to ICASA, however, and the associated responsibilities.
Muthambi was still responsible for appointing ICASA councillors and overseeing the FPB – which is tasked with regulating content.
MultiChoice wrote to Muthambi expressing disagreement with the president’s proclamation and argued that she should preside over all broadcasting matters.
Muthambi forwarded this communication to known Gupta associate Ashu Chawla. Chawla then forwarded the MultiChoice’s submission to Tony Gupta.
The exchange appeared to culminate in Muthambi sending through a new presidential proclamation in August 2014 with the message “See attached Proclamation that President must sign”.
Muthambi would then send her messages to Chawla, who would forward them to Tony Gupta and Zuma’s son Duduzane.
“Regarding our submission to Minister Muthambi: the presidential proclamation creating two new ministries didn’t make sense to a number of stakeholders in the broadcasting sector,” said MultiChoice.
“Several of these stakeholders made submissions to the minister suggesting it be corrected. MultiChoice was one of these, and many of its proposals were rejected.”
Etv told MyBroadband it was not one of the stakeholders MultiChoice mentioned in its feedback on the matter.
“Etv did not make submissions to the minister in 2014 regarding the splitting of the departments,” it said.
MultiChoice did not provide additional details on which stakeholders made submissions on the split.