NEWS

FULL STATEMENT: Yunus Carrim On Naspers And Koos Bekker

The former minister of communications says it's "bizarre" to think Koos Bekker was "hands-off" from vigorous campaign.

01/12/2017 16:42 SAST | Updated 01/12/2017 16:43 SAST
Mike Hutchings / Reuters
Satellite dishes connect township residents to South Africa's DSTV television network, owned by telecommunications giant Naspers, in Khayelitsha township, Cape Town, May 19, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

As part of Naspers' response to the article in the Mail & Guardian on the MultiChoice matter, this relevant excerpt:

A suggestion by ex-communications minister Yunus Carrim that Koos Bekker once met with him regarding encryption is perfectly accurate. Here are the facts: this meeting took place in Pretoria and was for the full duration also attended by Minister Pravin Gordhan, whom we greatly respect. Minister Gordhan can attest to the content of the meeting and whether any Gupta-related or any other illegal matter was discussed.

My reply:

I did not refer to any specific meeting or who was there. Nor did I say or even hint that anything Gupta-related or illegal was discussed at the meeting.

To link my comments to those calling for the removal of ANN7 from DSTV is rather disingenuous.

Mr Bekker conveniently forgets the meeting we had in Cape Town within a month of my appointment which he requested and MultiChoice CEO, Imtiaz Patel several times urged. Bekker's main purpose was to persuade me about the folly of set top box encryption, and seemed irritated that I would not agree with him and chose instead to refer the conflict about it to a mediation process to seek a compromise.

Because Mr Bekker served on major government ICT panels and had done very well in the media industry, he almost saw himself as an advisor to me as somebody new to the sector. And yet because of his vested profit and other interests in the pay-television sector he obviously couldn't play any such role. He seemed annoyed that I couldn't see how brilliant he is.

He forgets too our telephonic exchanges.

It's bizarre to suggest that Bekker was hands-off from MultiChoice's vigorous campaign to change government policy on encryption.