Thuli Madonsela interviewed two former African National Congress Youth League leaders – Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema and Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula – for her probe into alleged state capture.
This was in connection with allegations raised against the SABC‚ the South African national broadcaster which‚ she noted‚ runs 19 radio stations and four televisions broadcasts.
Malema‚ she said‚ alleged: “That the SABC previously allowed government departments to communicate with the nation at no cost. This includes instances where Ministers required air time in order to make announcements and launch campaigns”.
However‚ he asserted‚ “SABC has since entered into a partnership agreement with the New Age newspaper and government departments‚ including Ministers are required to pay either SABC‚ New Age newspaper and/or the relevant partnership to appear on SABC for purposes of communication with the nation.”
Madonsela said the allegations “were confirmed by Minister Mbalula during an interview with him on this investigation”.
Her report proposes that any contract or contracts awarded to the Gupta owned New Age newspaper or TNA Media by the SABC should be investigated.
“The investigation into SABC will however form part of the next phase of the investigation.”
In May‚ communications minister Faith Muthambi revealed in a parliamentary reply that the SABC is now spending more than three times what it used to on The New Age. She said it spent R700‚000 on copies of the paper since May 2014. This was up from R238‚000 in 2011.