DA calls for boycott of Gupta-owned media
THE government’s Communications Department spent nearly R1 million on a business briefing by the Guptaowned newspaper, The New Age, last year.
Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo revealed this in a written response to a question from the DA’s Christian Hunsinger.
“The Department of Communications spent R988 689.84 on a business breakfast briefing held on May 26, 2016 organised by the newspaper,” Dlodlo said.
The cost was incurred while Faith Muthambi was minister.
The latest revelation prompted the DA to call for a boycott of the Gupta-owned media – TNA and ANN7.
“It’s not a secret that the Gupta-owned TNA is propped up by the millions it receives from government departments and state-owned companies that sponsor its breakfast briefings, buy in bulk copies of its newspaper and spend disproportionately on adverts in the newspaper,” DA spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said yesterday.
She claimed the Gupta media were kept alive by taxpayers and cited instances where they, the department, and the Free State government, splashed out on funding them.
Van Damme said that since the Gupta email scandal had begun, the Gupta media had been doing everything to deflect and distract the public from the truth.
“It’s time to stop giving the New Age and ANN7 the time of day, and see them for what they are: the Guptas’ own closed-circuit TV.
“It is time to stop all funding of ANN7 and The New Age, to put a stop to the Guptas’ propaganda campaign,” she said.
Meanwhile, The New Age’s business briefings are subject to review as the interim board of the SABC implements the list of recommendation of the ad hoc committee of inquiry.
Last month, interim board member Krish Naidoo told the communications committee that they had written to The New Age requesting a meeting to discuss contracts they entered into with the SABC and also determine the subscription of newspapers, among others.
This was to evaluate the feasibility of the business case for entering into agreements with rival broadcasters, such as ANN7 and DStv.