Former Chief Operations Officer at the SABC, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, said there was nothing untoward about the deal that he struck with Multichoice, adding that it had actually been beneficial to the public broadcaster.
Motsoeneng, who essentially presented his case to the public on Wednesday, ahead of his disciplinary process, said he was proud of the Multichoice deal and could not understand why this became the subject of such scrutiny during his tenure at them helm of he organisation’s operations.
“There are issues about multichoice. I need to deal with Multichoice. Very interesting, and I am very proud that I am part of that contract with Multichoice. Multichoice has invested a lot of money in the SABC,” said Motsoeneng on Wednesday.
“When SABC could not pay sport rights, I had to negotiate with Multichoice. Instead of paying R6-million, we will pay R3-million. We have been doing that business with Multichoice. They have been contributing a lot. When it comes to (Channel) 404 and Encore, we have employed people,” added Motsoeneng.
Motsoeneng also sought to dispel of the notion that the archives of the SABC were now sitting at Multichoice, following the deal that was struck.
“We pay operations of the SABC. The money that we pay for operations comes from Multichoice. You know, people who do not know broadcasting or they know but they ignore it, they are saying all the archives are sitting at multichoice.
“The only thing that Multichoice did, after signing this contract, they built a nice building there. You know, next to them, there is another building. People are thinking we have taken all of those archives and put them in that building next to Multichoice,” added Motsoeneng.
“In broadcasting it works like this. There is what we call signal distribution on air. So, all the materials, all the archives, they are sitting there at the SABC. What you see is distribution, linking with Multichoice. Like your SABC 1, 2 and 3, and remember 1,2 and 3 have been there for many many years.
“Who said that we sold the archives? What is the difference between 404 and Encore, when they are sitting in that bouquet of Multichoice? An actually, they are not Multichoice channels. They are SABC channels. Because during migration, you need those channels to be on the SABC platform. We said we are putting those channels as pilot projects. So that when we migrate, those channels can come back home. But also, you need funding for these channels. It is not for free.”
Motsoeneng suggested that the there were MPs with hidden agendas and making a concerted effort to derail his efforts at the public broadcaster.
“And Multichoice is funding those channels with interest. People who are advertising on those channels, Multichoice they don’t gain a cent. All money comes to the SABC. What is the problem about people who are making noise?
“What is their interest? I think the question we need to ask as South Africans, is why these people are so interested. Why these people want to promote eTV?”