Cape Town - Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) on Thursday said it is “gravely concerned” by what it terms “reports of alleged state capture and corruption” against MultiChoice in its dealings with government and its content suppliers.
MultiChoice, which is owned by Naspers, is a member of BLSA.
“BLSA continues to condemn and take seriously any behaviour that is unethical and that is entirely at odds with the values contained in its Integrity Pledge. BLSA can confirm that it has initiated discussions with MultiChoice regarding the allegations as reported in the media,” the group said in a statement.
“We believe that due process must be followed to get to the bottom of these allegations. As such, BLSA will await the outcome of MultiChoice’s investigation before making further comment. “
The statement comes in the wake of a News24 report in November, which detailed how MultiChoice agreed to pay Infinity Media Networks a once-off payment of R25m in 2015.
MultiChoice also agreed to increase its annual payment for Infinity's ANN7 news channel – which was at the time owned by the Gupta family - from R50m to just over R140m.
These reports stemmed, in part, from the #GuptaLeaks.
MulitiChoice has announced an internal investigation into the payments.
Its parent company Naspers, meanwhile, has said the initial responsibility to investigate the payments lies with the MultiChoice board.
“We have confidence in them handling the matter, following their governance procedures. Naspers is committed to strong governance and requires the same of its subsidiaries,“ Naspers said in an earlier statement.
BLSA CEO Bonang Mohale said the leadership body would await the outcome of MultiChoice’s internal investigation.
“Consistent with the Integrity Pledge that our members have committed to, BLSA remains unwavering in its commitment to the highest ethical and lawful standards. To this end, BLSA will take the necessary decisions based on the outcome of the investigation,” said Mohale.
* News24 and Fin24 are published by Media24. Both Media24 and MultiChoice are Naspers companies.
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